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Russian Culture Minister Considers Screening Patriotic Films at the Circus

Screenshot "V boi idut odni stariki" (Only Old Men Are Going to Battle)

Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has welcomed a proposal to show patriotic films to school children as part of circus performances.

Medinsky, who has recently come under fire by liberal critics for his justification of the arrest of director Kirill Serebrennikov and for allegations that his PhD was plagiarized, is a staunch supporter of promoting patriotism in culture. 

During the minister's work visit to the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, the general director of the city's circus Anatoly Marchevsky proposed showing historical films, the state-run news agency TASS reported.

Marchevsky said young people would receive "objective" information on Russian history and would learn about their country, from its founding to the present day. Children would view the film and receive lectures from prominent actors and war veterans, Marchevsky proposed.

As a bonus, a clown or circus performer would put on a show after the film. The screenings would not compete with cinemas because they would be free and closely tied to school curriculums. A small allocation from the federal budget would be required for personnel and mobile screens, he noted.

“I support this idea,” Medinsky was cited as saying. 

Some commentators could not resist taking a crack at Medinsky's circus announcement.

"You could show the patriotic movies at the zoo. Somebody propose this to Medinsky!" Tatiana Felgenhauer, deputy editor of the independent radio station Ekho Moskvy, wrote

"Or in amusement parks," one Twitter user suggested. "You wouldn't have to go on the roller-coaster to get sick to your stomach."

"How about right in church?" another quipped.

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