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MOSCOW, November 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggests that Russia’s film-making community should work out a code of ethical norms. He mentioned this at the meeting of the Government Council on the Development of Cinematography in Russia. Pointing out that such a code existed in the United States in the thirties of the 20th century thanks to which several generations of citizens with correct sets of values were brought up, he said “it would not be amiss to consider following this positive example and formulating a similar set of ethical values for the Russian film-making community to go by.”
“I don’t want to be misunderstood. I don’t mean tough requirements limiting the freedom of the creative process. These are only wishes meeting which will depend on goodwill and a film-maker’s sense of responsibility,” Putin said.
The premier stressed that the state was not going to restore censorship in any form. “The problem of films’ contents, of television and radio programs constantly inspires heated debates. Scenes of violence, murder and treachery are ever present on cinema and TV screens,” he said. “With things being that way, If the state begins to impose its terms in a rigid legislative way, this will be construed as infringement on the rights and freedoms of society, as the resumption of censorship,” the premier said. “We, certainly, are not going to take that way,” he said.
The premier is also certain that “laws of corporate ethics should operate in the sphere of culture, in film-making.”
Putin believes “implementing this idea can do much good to education of future film directors, script writers and producers.” “Worthy contents of films are no less important than breathtaking views and skillful acting. It is not that a stand, a correct ideological format is going to be imposed. It is a matter of self-control and responsibility for what is offered to the viewer,” he said. Putin suggested that members of the Council should recall the Hays Code the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America adopted in 1930. “Those who signed the Code pledged themselves not to make films undermining the moral mainstays of society, making viewers take criminals’ side, neglecting religious and family values and advertizing violence, drug taking and alcoholism,” he said. He noted that the Code was in operation for 37 years and several generations of citizens with definite values and guidelines grew up and were educated over that period.