Patriotic tank film smashes Russian cash register record | Film

adminJanuary 9, 2019

A Russian war film telling about a Soviet soldier's "affection for the motherland", the latest in a line of state-financed patriotic blockbusters, has broken Russian cash accounts for its first week of release in the new year.

T-34, named after a type of tank widely used in World War II, had the best opening weekend at any time for a Russian-produced movie with around 713m rubles (£ 8.3m), according to an industry newsletter.

"This is a drama on how a concentration camp prisoner escapes from fascist captivity in an effort to preserve his life, love and affection for the motherland," said a Ministry of Culture statement.

The director, Aleksey Sidorov, said the aim of his film was to "tell a war story in a way that attracts young people and not provoke objections from those who still remember the great patriotic war".

Memories of the Great Patriotic War, known as the conflict with Nazi Germany in Russia, has become an important tool for promoting patriotism during President Vladimir Putin's long years in the Kremlin.

The criticism of the official heroic narrative of the war, where an estimated 26m Soviet citizens died, becomes discouraged or stolen.

Also released during the New Year was The Holiday, a black comedy set under siege by Leningrad, one of the war's darkest periods.

But unlike the T-34, which has been heavily drawn in state media, director Aleksey Krasovskiy decided to watch The Holiday exclusively on YouTube after officials condemned the project. The YouTube site for Krasovsky's movie contains a request for donations from the viewers.

Sergei Boyarsky, a deputy chairman of the state Duma, said the idea of ​​the film was "blasphemy and shame" when it was reported in Russian press last year.

The privately funded movie has racked up nearly 800,000 views on YouTubeT-34 has been seen 1.5m times in theaters.

Films require permission for the release of the Russian Ministry of Culture, which has been known to reject or delay permits for projects considered problematic, such as the British comedy Stalin Death, which was drawn at the last minute in 2018.

The government has funded a number of patriotism-promoting images in recent years, not just focused on the Soviet war scene.

In December 2017, a movie based on the USSR's unexpected 1972 Olympic basketball owner across the United States became the highest-ever Russian movie ever.

And last November, Romcom Crimean Bridge: Made With Love! hit cinemas shortly after the structure became a flashpoint in a naval stop between Russia and Ukraine.

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