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Russian T-34 film showing cancelled in San Francisco over propaganda claims — distributor

The showing was set to take place on February 21

NEW YORK, February 19. /TASS corr. Natalya Slavina/. The showing of a military war drama by director Alexey Sidorov "T-34" was cancelled in the US city of San Francisco due to a radical reaction by a group of individuals who allegedly detected propagandistic content in the film, head of the company distributing the film on North American territory Alexander Belyakov told TASS.

"The showing, which was set to take place on February 21 at a San Francisco movie theater, was cancelled due to an unhealthy reaction of separate radicals, who detected propaganda in the film," he noted. "At the same time, the activists state that they haven’t seen the film, but only watched the trailer. So I don’t really understand what the problem is. I suppose that the radicals are only protesting because the film is Russian - perhaps, for the last three years they haven’t heard that we distribute Russian movies, and now they have and will continue to stand in our way in the future."

Belyakov added that earlier, activists tried to sabotage the showing of the film in Boston. "Unfortunately, they managed to intimidate the owner of a small independent theater in Boston by multiple phone calls and emails, who got scared for his own business. But we immediately contacted our partners - the second largest cinema network in the world, and they offered us a cinema hall in Boston on the same day, because they [the activists] are unable to intimidate a network," he said.

"In order to distribute the film in North American theaters, we go through a special film commission in Canada, which is very strict on checking any film offered for distribution," Belyakov said, adding that the commission did not find any violations in the film.

"Both the cinema and us are outside of politics," he stated. "We just want as many people as possible seeing different and the best Russian films, and the rest is a matter of taste." "Every person in the US has a right to choose, and the viewers can decide for themselves whether to watch the film or not," he concluded.

The T-34 film is a Russian military drama, which is currently the second top grossing film of all time in Russia. It is shown in several US theaters in Russian with English subtitles. "I think the film will be a success, even despite someone trying to sabotage the showings. We are just sorry that the people of San Francisco will not be able to see it," Belyakov said.