Under the slogan “Cinema united”: EU plans festival in Moscow despite war

Under the slogan “Cinema united”
EU plans festival in Moscow despite war

Due to the war in Ukraine, there is a political ice age between the European Union and Russia. However, the EU is convinced that this should not reflect on the people in Russia. After a year-long break, she will organize a film festival for Russians again.

Despite Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the European Union is organizing a film festival in Moscow again in November after a break last year. Under the slogan “Cinema united”, 21 films from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and other EU countries will be shown mainly online and free of charge between November 1st and 15th, according to the EU representation announced in Moscow.

Even in the difficult context of the Russian war against Ukraine, the EU wants to show that relations between Europeans and Russians can be continued, said EU Ambassador Roland Galharague in Moscow. The EU ended its cooperation with the Russian government because of the war of aggression; But this shouldn’t reflect on the people in Russia.

“Cinema unites people,” said the diplomat in a Moscow cinema in front of hand-picked guests. “Russian culture and art serves as a source of enrichment for filmmaking in Europe as well,” said Galharague. Two co-productions with Russian participation will also be shown. Many Russian artists have left their homeland because they can no longer work freely in a country where Western culture is sometimes officially demonized. Filmmakers in particular repeatedly complain about censorship by the Russian Ministry of Culture, which, for example, refuses licenses for the distribution of cinema films.

At the EU event to introduce the film festival in Moscow, keywords such as freedom and human rights also flickered across the screen. Some guests at the unannounced film screening spoke of a climate of intimidation and fear in all spheres of society in Russia. The films, including documentaries, are shown in their original language with subtitles in the Coolplay online cinema. Access without prior registration is only available to people in Russia or abroad with Russian network access (VPN), as a diplomat at the EU mission in Moscow said. Some of the films were shown at European and international film festivals and appealed to both critics and viewers, it was said.

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