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article imageRussia allows release of US sub movie, after delay

By AFP     Nov 7, 2018 in World

Russia has allowed the release of a Hollywood blockbuster in which an American submarine crew rescue a Russian president, after it was mysteriously postponed, its local distributor said Wednesday.

Released in the US last month, "Hunter Killer" is a thriller starring Gerard Butler as a US submarine captain who tries to prevent World War III after the Russian president is taken hostage by his rogue defence minister.

It was due to arrive in Russian cinemas last week but the film was withdrawn at the last minute after the culture ministry withheld its screening licence.

"Tomorrow! The thriller 'Hunter Killer' with Gerard Butler in the title role will be released," Megogo Distribution said on its Facebook page Wednesday.

A licence for screening had been granted, the company told Russian news agencies.

The ministry initially said it had refused to approve the release because the company did not show confirmation it had "transferred the film for permanent storage in the Russian state film fund."

But others, including opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov, suggested officials could be blocking the movie for presenting even a fictional scenario in which a Russian president is deposed.

The movie's troubles in Russia followed its failure to open in neighbouring Ukraine.

The distribution company told AFP the government was preventing the film from screening there.

Though there is no official explanation of the ban in Ukraine, reports have cited a Ukrainian law which bans films popularising a military of the "aggressor state" or "creating a positive image" of its employees.

Ukraine considers Russia an aggressor which supports an insurgency in its eastern region, where pro-Russia separatists have declared independence from Kiev.

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