The Hollywood Reporter announced today that the film “Zimni Put,” or “Winter Way,” will go to theaters in Russia with an 18+ rating. Without that rating, it likely would have been subject to a law passed in Russia with overwhelming support on June 30 which can ban any information about homosexual relationships (or in the law’s eyes, “nontraditional sexual relations”), including any public activity that could be construed as gay, and impose fines if there is arguably a chance that minors can see it. This law is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the laws being imposed on people in many countries.
“Winter Way” follows the story of two young men in Moscow, one a music student and the other “a provincial hoodlum,” who become attracted to one another. The film recently premiered at the Window into Europe film festival in Russia, winning the film critics’ guild’s award and the best actor award for Yevgeny Tkachuk, one of the movie’s leads.
If the film eventually gets a wider release, it will be interesting to see if the 18+ rating pertains to any content that would have also been considered too mature (by European or American standards) if the leading relationship in the movie were heterosexual.
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