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Vitaly Milonov, a conservative Russian legislator, compared Gaspar Noe’s Love with Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf, while a St Petersburg festival pulled the film from the program.
“[This film is] like Mein Kampf,” Milonov was quoted as saying by the Russian News Service. “It can be studied for scientific purposes but can’t be openly distributed.”
“Similarly, cinematic deviations can be shown to researchers, but cannot be exposed to general public,” he went on to say.
Milonov, known for his hardline conservative attitudes and hatred for gay people, welcomed the culture ministry’s refusal to issue an exhibition license to Love, saying it was a signal that Russia will no longer be “a rubbish dump of the film industry.”
Meanwhile, the St Petersburg film festival Message to Man canceled a screening of Love, even though it could technically screen the film without an exhibition license.
The festival’s press service announced that the screening of Love, which was supposed to be held in late September, has been canceled following the culture ministry’s decision to deny the film an exhibition license.
The festival explained the decision by “complicated legal issues” but would not elaborate.
Love, which was banned by the culture ministry for its “pornographic scenes,” is a sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another girl. It contains several scenes of explicit sex.
The film’s sole public screening in Russia took place at the Moscow international film festival this summer.
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