These days the new war movie “The Witness” is being shown on the big screens in Russia. The film is the country’s first feature film about the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, and it premiered on August 17.
Cinema halls have been reported empty
But the Russians don’t seem to have let themselves be captivated by this blockbuster. According to Alexei, a Russian he spoke to WatchmanFor example, only three people showed up at a cinema in Moscow that had a capacity of more than 100 people.
– When I got to the cinema hall, I thought the movie was over because the hall was so empty, Alexei, who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons, tells the newspaper.
The state-backed film is said to have a budget of 200 million rubles, roughly NOK 22 million. However, for the first two weeks the film was supposed to take in just 14 million rubles, roughly NOK 1.5 million, and there are reports of empty cinemas across the country, he writes. Watchman.
– No surprise
In the film, she meets Belgian violinist Daniel Cohen, who is traveling to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, when war suddenly breaks out. He witnesses a series of “inhuman crimes and bloody provocations by Ukrainian nationalists,” according to the synopsis.
The film shows a Ukrainian general walking around with a copy of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography “Mein Kampf” as Ukrainian soldiers pledge allegiance to the Nazi leader.
The lackluster interest in The Witness testifies to cracks in Russian propaganda, believes Ivan Filippov, creative director of Ukrainian film company AR Content.
The Russians use propaganda by force everywhere, so it’s no surprise they don’t bother spending their own money to see more, he says. Watchman.
I will forget
Numerous opinion polls have shown that many Russians are not interested in the war in Ukraine, and would have preferred to ignore it altogether.
The Levada Center, Russia’s only independent polling centre, recently released results showing that 40% of Russians do not actively follow the war in Ukraine, while only 23% of respondents said they “follow the war closely”.
– Many people probably want to watch films that allow them to forget about the bleak conditions, and the last thing they want is to be reminded of the war, Filippov tells the newspaper.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”