Staunton, Nov. 9 – The Russian justice ministry has put on the extremist list a 1973 Soviet anti-Zionist film that the CPSU Central Committee had ordered produced but that Yury Andropov banned, an action that Russian nationalist Andrey Soshenko says raises the question as to whether the Putin regime plans to “prohibit anti-Zionism.”
The film, “Secret and Obvious,” was placed on the extremist list on the basis of a Syktyvkar court decision in June apparently because the notoriously anti-Semitic film, all but one copy of which were destroyed shortly after it was produced, is being shown on the Internet (riafan.ru/1551291-minyust-rossii-priznal-ekstremistskim-film-tainoe-i-yavnoe-celi-i-deyaniya-sionistov
But Soshenko complains that there is no basis for this official action because the 90-minute film as it announces at its start presents only “facts,” that it is not anti-Semitic but only anti-Zionist, and that it is important for Russians and others to know these things (ruskline.ru/news_rl/2021/11/09/zaprewayut_antisionizm).
From his perspective, Moscow is only doing this to appease liberal opinion – and in that, he may be right because now the Russian authorities can point to this action as evidence that their extremist list contains things that many liberals and others would certainly feel deserve to be prohibited.
But it seems likely that the new ban will have exactly the opposite effect of what its authors want, leading more people to pay attention to a film that up to now had attracted only the most marginal of viewers and causing others to reflect upon the entire system of banning books and films that the Putin regime seems obsessed with.