Russian Communist party members have condemned the new Indiana Jones film as crude anti-Soviet propaganda that distorted history, and called for it to be banned from Russian screens.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull stars Harrison Ford as an archaeologist in 1957 competing with an evil KGB agent (Cate Blanchett) to find a skull with mystic powers. The film, the fourth in the Indiana Jones series, went on release in Russian cinemas on Thursday.
"What galls is how, together with America, we defeated Hitler, and how we sympathised when Bin Laden hit them," said Viktor Perov, a Communist Party member in St Petersburg. "But they go ahead and scare kids with communists. These people have no shame." Another party member, Andrei Gindos, described Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett as "the running dogs of the CIA".
The comments were made at a local Communist Party meeting and posted on its website www.kplo.ru. Though the ranks of the once all-powerful Communist Party have dwindled since Soviet times, its members see themselves as the defenders of the achievements of the Soviet Union. Other Communists said the generation born after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union were being fed revisionist Hollywood history. They advocated banning Indiana Jones outright to prevent "ideological sabotage".
"Our movie-goers are teenagers who are completely unaware of what happened in 1957," said the St Peterburg Communist Party chief Sergei Malinkovich. "They will go to the cinema and will be sure that in 1957 we made trouble for the United States and almost started a nuclear war. It's rubbish.
"In 1957 the Communists did not run with crystal skulls throughout the US. Why should we agree to that sort of lie and let the West trick our youth?"