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Novosibirsk Court Fines Theaters for 'Wolf of Wall Street'

Published: April 8, 2014 (Issue # 1804)



  • Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a crooked and high-rolling stock broker, in The Wolf of Wall Street.
    Photo: Paramount Pictures

Five movie theater chains have been fined a total of 4 million rubles ($113,328) for showing the Hollywood blockbuster "The Wolf of Wall Street," which the central court of Novosibirsk deemed to be propagandizing narcotics use.

In February, the Novosibirsk branch of the Federal Service for Narcotics Control brought a case against six companies holding a total of 10 movie theaters for showing "The Wolf of Wall Street," saying that the film "reflected a subculture of drug abusers" and idealized the use of narcotics, Itar-Tass reported.

Viktor Ivanov, director of the Federal Service for Narcotics Control, said the order to pursue movie theaters had not come from him, and no cases have been brought against theaters for showing the film outside of Novosibirsk.

However, the Novosibirsk Regional Court on Friday sided with the local branch of the narcotics control service in finding the theater chains guilty under the Russian federal statute outlawing the propagandization or idealization of narcotics use.

Representatives of the theater chains continue to maintain that the court and local narcotics control service have no basis for their claims, as the film was approved by the Culture Ministry. "The Culture Ministry bears responsibility for the content of the film," said Yelena Dmitriyeva, director of the Kinositi theater chain, Colta.ru reported.

Kinoalliance, a nonprofit lobbying organization working on behalf of theater chains in Russia, announced its intention to support the defendants in appealing the decision. Mikhail Shvydko, special representative of the president for cultural cooperation, also expressed support for the defendants and described the situation as absurd: "Unfortunately, the current law code is so confused and contradictory that pretty much anything could fall under any kind of criminal punishment," Vzglyad business newspaper reported.

The film "The Wolf of Wall Street" stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a cocaine-snorting, pill-popping stockbroker and financier who makes money hand over fist via dubious methods before being busted and imprisoned. The film was released in December 2013 and has grossed more than $389 million worldwide.

Novosibirsk law enforcement is not alone in criticizing the film: It has been banned entirely in Malaysia, Nepal and Kenya due to its depiction of sex, drugs and profanity. Scenes were removed from the version distributed in India, and Singapore has allowed to film to shown only in a small number of theaters. In the U.S., animal rights activists criticized the film's use of apes as cruel and traumatic.





 

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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