Ministry, Duma Back Swearing Movie Edict

“Leviathan” will be released in Russia, minus the curse words, on Feb. 5.

The Culture Ministry said it would consider the idea of allowing swearing in films, after a group of prestigious Russian film directors asked Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier this week to amend a 2014 law prohibiting profanity in works of art, but had no intention of changing its position that the ban was right in comments provided by the ministry's press service.

The letter, signed by six directors including Fyodor Bondarchuk and Nikita Mikhalkov, called for films with foul language to be granted distribution licenses with an "18+" age restriction.

Stanislav Govorukhin, well-known director and head of the Duma culture committee, said Wednesday that committee members voted unanimously against the return of uncensored language in cinema.

"If you go along with the principle they have proposed, it's possible to take it too far. First we'll go back to foul language in cinema, in literature, in theaters, then we'll be allowing cartoons on religious themes," said Govorukhin.

"Strict controls are required so that minors do not stumble upon films like this. We need to legislate more strictly and establish accountability for cinema owners," he said.

"Leviathan," the critically acclaimed Russian film, which has been nominated in the best foreign language film category in this year's Academy Awards, will remain bound by the controversial law. A profanity-free version of the film premieres in Russian theaters on Feb. 5.

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