Russian audiences are flocking to see a pirated version of the Barbie movie – despite an official warning that the Hollywood blockbuster is “incompatible” with President Vladimir Putin‘s goal of “preserving and strengthening rule Russia“.
Audiences are proving their credibility by attending unofficial screenings of the film, which was released on big screens despite Western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.
Pirated versions of Greta Gerwig’s film inspired by the iconic Mattel doll, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, were uncredited and dubbed into Russian.
According to the report, to avoid licensing issues, some cinemas have been selling tickets to Russian-made short films – showing Barbie as “free previews”.
The BBC revealed that at a Moscow shopping center where the film was being screened nearby, fans were amused by a huge fuchsia house, complete with matching furniture, corn and life-size cardboard cutouts of Barbie and Ken. One fan said:
“People should have the right to choose what they watch. I think it’s good that Russian cinemas can show us these films.
Film critic Anton Dolin, former editor-in-chief of Iskusstvo Kino, one of Russia’s oldest and most famous film magazines, told the Guardian that the demand for unofficial screenings reflects people’s anti-war sentiment. Russia.
Dolin, who fled the country after being targeted by pro-war ultranationalists and now lives in Latvia, said Hollywood’s boycott of Russia is an example of the privilege it once had. enjoyed but now has been deprived.
“They consider watching Hollywood movies a right,” he told the newspaper.
But Russian MP Maria Butina is not a fan of the film or the doll that inspired it.
“I have a problem with Barbie being a female form. Some girls – especially in their teens – try to look like a Barbie girl and exhaust their bodies.
The film has not been licensed to be shown in Russia, she said, warning:
‘Don’t break the law. “I have repeatedly asked theaters to ask on what basis they show movies.”
As a result, Barbie screenings are extremely secretive, with no marketing or advertising involved.
The only way to know where movies are showing is through social media or word of mouth.
A 17-year-old man risked angering the Russian government by bringing Barbie to the big screen in the city of Perm.
In an interview with the Financial Times, he said he spent more than $3,000 (nearly £2,500) to obtain a pirated copy, hired a Russian dubbing company and set up a marketing campaign.
‘Real Barbie’ models clothes, cars and ‘Dream Houses’ on iconic doll
He also hired a designer to create a life-sized Barbie box, now synonymous with movie screenings.
He and a friend rented a theater screen and showed a pirated copy of Barbie to 50 test audiences. He say:
“The demand is incredible. People lose their minds when buying tickets. A lot of people want to see Barbie.