Oh, those silly little Soviets. One may think that communism is dead in Russia, or not if you watch as Vladimir Putin moves “his country” closer and closer to a KGB-esque version of democracy, but regardless of what he denies, there still is a Communist Party in Russia, and they allegedly want to return Russia to the glory years of the Soviet Union.
OK, that may be a sweeping generalization of Russia’s Communist Party. The Red Scare is all but over, and people have their right to whatever political beliefs they may hold. There’s nothing inherently evil about communism, though the implementation of such ideals have never appeared to be as glorious as Karl Marx had foreseen. And when it comes to Russia, communism has a pretty bad track record. That being said, I’m sure there are the moderates and the extremists within Russia’s Communist Party, but you wouldn’t guess from this Reuters article about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
According to the article, Russian Communists aren’t too happy about the depiction of their brethren in the latest Indiana Jones movie, so much so that they are calling for the film’s boycott in the largest country in the world. You see, to them, Indiana Jones 4 is “crude, anti-Soviet propaganda that distorts history.”
No, they’re not complaining about the specifics within the Indiana Jones movie, which is clearly fiction from beginning to end, but instead about the depiction of Cate Blanchett as an evil KGB agent looking for a crystal skull that could give her unimaginable powers – along with a bunch of other mindless and “evil” KGB agents and Soviet soldiers. The following are quotes taken from a recent Communist meeting (according to the Reuters article):
“What galls is how together with America we defeated Hitler, and how we sympathized when Bin Laden hit them. But they go ahead and scare kids with Communists. These people have no shame.” Um, I’m pretty sure Communists have been used as villains in films for the last sixty years.
“Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett (are) second-rate actors, serving as the running dogs of the CIA. We need to deprive these people of the right of entering the country.” Really? Wow.
“Our movie-goers are teenagers who are completely unaware of what happened in 1957. 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 U.S. Why should we agree to that sort of lie and let the West trick our youth?” OK, so maybe the Communists are attacking the plot of the movie. Arguments like these are ones that really send me over the deep end – if you’re going to take mindless entertainment so seriously, how can we possibly take your arguments seriously?
Ultimately, I find things like this ludicrous. Countries get offended by odd things, and it’s not always too surprising – after all, many countries have very strong national identities and don’t like it when films portray them in a negative light (Borat comes to mind). Hell, even some people in the U.S. get upset about anti-U.S. films (Bill O’Reilly, anyone?). Still, this is the first time I’ve heard of the defunct Russian Communist Party getting upset about such a blatantly harmless movie (though I’ve come to understand that there were also complaints about 1998′s Armageddon because the movie portrayed a derelict Russian space station). I mean, really, so many American and European movies have portrayed Soviets in a much more negative light, and usually to a higher degree of realism. The James Bond movies come to mind. Dozens of other quality films, too. Why get heated – and call for the ban of – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?