Blue Is the Warmest Colour may have won the Palme d'Or and launched Adèle Exarchopoulos's career, but some Russians aren't exactly impressed. Anti-gay activists have attacked the film under the country's controversial gay propaganda law.
Members of the Moscow-based League of Safe Internet (LBI) have complained to the culture ministry and the prosecutor's office, accusing the film of promoting gay propaganda to minors and arguing that it contains child pornography.
"The film has plenty of overtly pornographic scenes, which take up most of the screen time," LBI executive director Denis Davydov told Russian newspaper Izvestia, as translated by the Hollywood Reporter. "(Two) women are engaged in lesbian sex, one of whom is a 15-year-old girl. The fact that the actress who plays her is over 18 doesn't matter. She could as well be 40. The audience views her as a minor."
One could say the audience might also view this as "acting". Anyway, the LBI has come late to the hate party: Russian MP Vladimir Milonov led an attempted disruption of a St. Petersburg screening during the LGBT film festival Side By Side in November. If the Russian government does decide the film is in breach of the gay propaganda law, it will not be made available on online video services or on TV.
While Abdellatif Kechiche's movie is not overtly political, its stars are well aware of the political significance of its critically acclaimed reception and Cannes win. In an interview with Dazed, Exarchopoulos said: "It was a beautiful coincidence that we won the Palme the day of the gay marriage protest in France, just before its legalisation. It’s like, there is a god somewhere. It was amazing."
Follow Zing Tsjeng on Twitter here @misszing