Moscow bans movie for showing Russia as 'Mordor'

child 44 russia
Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy star in the Lionsgate thriller "Child 44."

Russia has banned a new Hollywood thriller to be released Friday after complaining that the movie makes the country look like Mordor, the evil realm in the "Lord of the Rings" series.

The ministry of culture in Moscow has blocked distribution of "Child 44" for being "historically inaccurate."

The Lionsgate (LGF) movie is about a Soviet-era serial killer. Gary Oldman plays General Mikhail Nesterov, an officer who tries to hunt down the killer.

It was due for worldwide release Friday but now won't be seen in Russian theaters.

The ministry said the film, which also stars Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, distorts historical facts and events before, during and after World War II.

Russia is preparing to celebrate the anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany next month.

"The distribution of such films on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory is unacceptable," the ministry said.

Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky accused the filmmakers of depicting Russia as a "Mordor" with "physically and mentally inferior subhumans."

Related: Putin wants Russian films to be about Crimea and military glory

The film was due in hundreds of cinemas across Russia after premiering in London on Friday. Central Partnership, the Russian distributor, said the decision to withdraw the film was made jointly with the ministry of culture.

Based on a 2008 bestseller by Tom Rob Smith, the movie transposes a series of murders committed in the 1980s to famine-stricken Stalinist Russia. It shows the authorities trying to cover up the crimes to maintain the image of a perfect society.


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