Russia won’t let director attend Cannes

Russia won’t let director attend Cannes


norman lebrecht

June 09, 2021

Weak regimes lock up their critics.

The Putin government has refused to let film and opera director Kirill Serebrennikov leave the country to participate in the Cannes Film Festival. The director, who has made disobliging remarks about his country’s ruler, is no longer under judicial house arrest.

But they still won’t let him leave.



  • JS says:

    He is not allowed to leave Russia no because of his alleged “disobliging remarks” but because in June 2020 he got a suspended sentence (for embezzlement), three years of probation and a fine of 800 thousand rubles. Well, he has to wait until all this is settled.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      The charges were demonstrably false and the trial rigged. Next point?

      • JS says:

        I’m NOT saying that he was guilty (in fact, I don’t know. You don’t know that either, you’re just repeating what is being said) . But I reacted to your implication that he can’t leave Russia because od his “disobliging remarks about his country ruler”which is, naturally, absurd.

        • AR says:

          Well, he s not allowed to leave because there is a sentence that prevents it and the sentence is there because he s a free spirit and has some other political convictions that the ones liked by his leaders, so isn t it the same?

        • HugoPreuss says:

          And what do you think let to his “trial” and his “conviction”?? Got it in one: “disobliging remarks about his country’s ruler”.

          To talk about a Russian political law suit as if the courts were independent and interested in guilt or innocence in some European sense of the word is either misinformed, or disingeneous, or outright funny.

        • Le Křenek du jour says:


          When, in the wake of the XXth Congress of the CPSU, the first timid reforms of the Soviet penitentiary system were implemented along the lines of Nikolai Pavlovich Dudorov’s proposal of April 1956, some of the oldest inmates at Vorkutlag were set free, ostensibly to be replaced by more worthy anti-social elements.

          One of the Vorkutlag veterans, an old apparatchik who had been purged already in 1933, slammed the following year, sentenced in 1936, re-tried and re-sentenced in 1937 for “58-14” (the rubber paragraph of “counter-revolutionary sabotage”) was wondrously rehabilitated and allowed to rejoin his old party cell.
          At the vetting session, he was asked how long he had served in the Gulag, and for what.
          “Twenty-two years. Two without trial. Sentenced to thirty. For nothing at all.”
          Incredulous silence followed. The cell’s secretary gave voice to the general consternation:
          “Comrade, you’re a liar. Everybody here knows that they can slam you for five years in the camps for nothing at all.
          Ten years. Fifteen. Twenty.
          For nothing at all.
          We all know that.
          But thirty years?
          No way you get thirty years for nothing at all.”

          Come back when you can produce some more plausible evidence; credible for us gullible Westerners, that is.

        • almaviva says:

          If it talks and sounds like a troll, it is a troll. The Russian kind…

  • Amos says:

    Yes, if you speak out against President for life Putin you are only thrown in jail if you opt to run against him. Perhaps if he was allowed to leave the country to attend a film festival it would be necessary to poison him. It is absurd to think that anyone speaking out against VP would be poisoned!

  • Jean says:

    Trumpetist Allan Sihvola says in his memoirs that when he was interrogated by the KGB (regarding his music taste) in 1949: ”Even mentioning the name of Rachmaninov was totally inacceptable.”

    Does anyone know when the ban on Rachmaninov was lifted off in USSR ?

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    No remark about the Putin régime can at this late stage in its appalling history be “disobliging” anymore.
    The prima facie assumption must be one of inconvenient truthfulness.

  • Hayne says:

    “…and meanwhile, Julian Assange is still rotting in
    Belmarsh Prison in London. Now back to you Norman.”