Russia says ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ films don’t live up to country’s values

Deputy Culture Minister Andrei Malyshev has rejected an appeal to screen the blockbusters

Barbie and Oppenheimer don’t live up to Russia’s values and shouldn’t be screened in the country, its Deputy Culture Minister has said.

Andrei Malyshev rejected a request by vice-speaker of Russia’s parliament, Vladislav Davankov, who’d written to officials asking them to launch a pilot scheme where cinemas could show popular new releases.

The TASS news agency [via Politico] reported yesterday (August 31) that Malyshev rejected the appeal based on his preferences for movies and which content he believes the Russian people value. The West has boycotted Russia since it launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, meaning that new Western films are not currently shown in the country.


Davankov had lobbied the Russian government to allow bootleg screenings despite the Hollywood embargo.

Malyshev wrote: “We believe that the films you have proposed for viewing by the citizens of our country – Barbie and Oppenheimer – do not meet the aims and objectives set out by the head of state, to preserve and strengthen traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.”

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling during the opening dance scene in ‘Barbie’. CREDIT: Warner Bros

Instead, Malyshev believes that Russians get suitable entertainment and information from domestic productions including animated children’s film Cheburashka and The Challenge, a Russian state-backed film shot on the International Space Station.

According to the minister, making up for the lack of foreign content in the wake of Western firms’ exit from the country has stimulated the country’s own industry. Cheburashka, however, has an average rating of 7.2 out of 10 on Russian film website Kinopoisk.

Meanwhile, a woman named Barbara “Barbie” Oppenheimer is having a tough time being taken seriously following the box office success of “Barbenheimer“.


Barbara Oppenheimer is a retired Boston University professor and grandmother of five who lives in Newton, Massachusetts, but the excitement around this year’s “Barbenheimer” craze made things somewhat complicated for her during the summer.

Cillian Murphy in 'Oppenheimer'
Cillian Murphy in ‘Oppenheimer’. CREDIT: Universal Pictures

In an interview with Slate, Oppenheimer said that numerous people thought she was joking whenever she would say her name outloud.

Recalling a specifically confusing moment during a recent vacation, she said: “When I checked in at the hotel, I said, ‘Barbie Oppenheimer!’ The guy said, ‘Are you pulling my leg?’”

Oppenheimer said that she “had college friends around the world texting me that weekend when [the movies] came out, with the whole schmear, you know… ‘the bomb and the bombshell’.”

“It’s pretty funny!” she said about the confusion. “It was a brilliant thing that they launched them [the films] together. It really brought people back into movie theatres.”

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