Indiana Jones makes Russian communists see red

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Communist party members in St Petersburg on Friday condemned the new Indiana Jones’ film as crude anti-Soviet propaganda that distorted history and called for it to be banned from Russian screens.

Steven Spielberg (L), producer George Lucas (C), Melody Hobson (2nd R) and Harrison Ford speak before the world premiere screening of the film "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" at the 61st Cannes Film Festival. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” stars Harrison Ford as an archaeologist in 1957 competing with an evil KGB agent, played by Cate Blanchett, to find a skull endowed with mystic powers.

“What galls is how together with America we defeated Hitler, and how we sympathised when Bin Laden hit them. But they go ahead and scare kids with Communists. These people have no shame,” said Viktor Perov, a communist party member in Russia’s second city.

The comments were made at a meeting of the local Communist party and posted on its Internet site

“Our women don’t look like Nazis, but maybe Cate Blanchett was threatened by unemployment, so ... she made this film,” Perov said.

The film, the fourth in the hugely successful Indiana Jones series, went on release in Russian cinemas on Thursday. Russian media said it was being shown on 808 screens, the widest ever release for a Hollywood movie.

“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,” said another party member, Andrei Gindos.

“The film is low-quality and would raise a smile if there wasn’t a danger of drawing into its orbit teenagers who know nothing about the 1950s,” Vladimir Mukhin, another member, said in comments on the Internet site.

Mukhin said he would ask the Culture Ministry to ban the film for its “anti-Soviet propaganda”.

“Indians and aliens unite with Jones and his untrustworthy buddies to save the world from a Russian threat - what rubbish, simply a paranoid Churchillian fantasy,” Mukhin said.

Reporting by Chris Baldwin, editing by Richard Balmforth