Russian corruption film 'Leviathan' upsets culture minister

By Kyle Johnson,

The Russian culture minister wasn't too pleased with Leviathan, which was shown at Cannes on Friday.

The Russian film received positive reviews from those attending the film festival, but Culture Minister Andrei Medinsky, who saw the film ahead of Cannes, was said not to have enjoyed the depiction of a corrupt Russian mayor who unflinchingly destroys those who get in his way, reports Reuters.

Leviathan director Andrei Zvyagintsev said the culture minister was willing to admit "the film was very talented but he didn't like it." The director added, "I can understand that stance. He has a lot of work, he is supposed to make the world better."

Still, the Russian culture minister, whose office helped finance the film, is still reportedly hopeful of the film showing in the country, despite the new profanity law, which goes into effect July.

While Medinsky's office didn't offer a comment, Russian media have quoted him as saying, "The film won't suffer from cutting profanity out of it. The film is talented but I did not like it."

According to Variety, who first reported the news, Sony Pictures Classics picked up the U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to Leviathan. The Russian film is believed to be a possible contender for the prestigious Palme d'Or.

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