Court Annuls Fine on Cinemas For Drug Use in 'Wolf of Wall Street'

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a crooked and high-rolling stock broker, in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

The Novosibirsk Regional Court has overruled a decision by a local judge to fine a cinema chain for showing the Oscar-nominated film "Wolf of Wall Street."

Regional judges annulled the 800,000 ruble fine and dismissed the case against the Cinema Park theater chain after previously overturning fines totaling 3.2 million rubles ($89,800) against several other chains, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing a court spokesman.

The local court had fined the theaters for showing director Martin Scorcese's "Wolf of Wall Street" under a Russian law against propagandizing drug use, though the regional court dismissed the case "due to a lack of an administrative defense."

The Culture Ministry has previously said it sees no reason to ban the film from being shown to adult audiences given that it shows the negative effects of drug use.

Starring actor Leonardo DiCaprio, "Wolf of Wall Street" follows the rise and fall of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, whose wealthy life disintegrates in a flurry of drug use, promiscuity and illegal financial transactions.

While the film's depiction of heavy drug use appears to have been given the all clear by Russian authorities, its use of profanity could have caused difficulties if it had been released this year instead of last.

On Monday, President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting swearing in public performances, including cinema, theater and other forms of art. However, the law does not apply to films released before July 1.

U.S. magazine Variety reported in January that "Wolf of Wall Street" had set the all-time record for using the English "f-word" in a nondocumentary film, with the word used 506 times over the course of 180 minutes.

The text of the newly passed law does not make it clear whether "bleeping" swear words would eliminate potential violations.

See also:

Novosibirsk Court Fines Theaters For 'Wolf of Wall Street' 

Putin Bans the F-Word From Movies and Plays

Read more