Dagestan official called on cinemas not to show “amoral films”
Head of Dagestan’s committee for freedom of conscience Magomed Abdurakhmanov has issued a statement advising the owners of local cinemas against screening “amoral movies”, Caucasian Knot reports.
He said they must understand that they are responsible for the spiritual development of Dagestan’s youth and should agree among themselves “a code of ethics regulating what films can or cannot be shown to broad public”.
“This statement should not be seen as an attempt to impose views on anyone, or set boundaries for what is right, or dictate a working format,” Abdurakhmanov said. “Rather it’s me asking cinema owners to turn their self-control on, to practice self-censorship and stop screening films that erode our society’s moral fiber, slant audiences’ sympathies towards criminals, propagate violence, drugs and alcoholism, encourage derogatory attitudes toward our religious and family values.”
As the text of the statement spread across Dagestan’s social media realms, some commentators pointed out its likeness to what Vladimir Putin said back when he was still the prime minister of Russia in 2011.
Just like Putin had done, Abdurakhmanov acknowledged the cinema’s “huge power to convince” and “to convey emotions”. Both said some movies were comparable to “the so-called tabloids”, noted that cinematography was “developing along with the scientific progress” and turning into “a new force for influencing minds and hearts”.
Putin, too, had urged self-control for cinema managers, and cited the USA’s Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 (Hays Code) as a positive example of having a code of ethics in place. This address of his is still available on Youtube, even though it’s been removed from the Russian government’s website.
This is not the first time someone has protested against what is described as “alien” culture in Dagestan. In February of 2015, local officials called for a boycott of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” erotic movie. In June of 2016, a placard was put up in the town of Kaspiisk that said listening to music was a sin. And in August of 2016, death threats were made in social networks against those who were going to attend the Holi Festival of Colors.