Child 44's eponymous film adaptation was released yesterday (April 17, 2015), probably at a theatre near you. The A.V. Club (in Review: The Stalinist serial-killer flick Child 44 strains for seriousness · Movie Review), Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes panned the flick, directed by Daniel Espinosa with a screenplay by Richard Price.
I'm gonna watch it
...*If only on Netflix.
(Excusez-moi. This is National Poetry Month, folks.)
As reported in Child 44 (film)#Release - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
On 15 April 2015, the Russian film distributor Central Partnership announced that the film would be withdrawn from cinemas in Russia, although some media stated that screening of the film was blocked by the Russian Ministry of Culture. The decision was made following the press screening the day before. The Ministry of Culture and the Central Partnership issued a joint press release stating that the screening of the film before the 70th anniversary of the Victory Day was unacceptable. The Ministry of Culture claimed that it received several questions on the film's contents, primarily concerning "distortion of historical facts, peculiar treatment of events before, during and after the Great Patriotic War and images and characters of Soviet people of that era". Russian minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky welcomed the decision, but stressed that it was made solely by the Central Partnership. However, in his personal statement Medinsky complained that the film depicts Russians as "physically and morally base sub-humans", and compared the depiction of Soviet Union in the film with J. R. R. Tolkien's Mordor, and wished that such films should be screened neither before the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, nor any other time. However, he also stated that the film would be available in Russia on DVD and online.
Ukrainian film director and producer Alexander Rodnyansky criticized the decision not to release Child 44 as bad for the country's film industry. "Before, films where Soviet and Russian heroes were presented not in the best way have been released in Russia, but nothing similar happened. Now everything to do with history should clearly fit into a kind of framework set by the culture ministry."
Here are some of my stray thoughts:
- About the book Child 44
- About the film Child 44
- I haven't yet seen the film but already have a bone to pick: I envisioned the lead, Leo, to look more like this and his wife, Raisa, to be brunette.
- While waiting for Child 44 (2015) to make its way to Netflix, I'll check out another book-and-film pair based on a true-life Russian serial killer in the Soviet Union: Robert Cullen's non-fiction book, The Killer Department: Detective Viktor Burakov's Eight-Year Hunt for the Most Savage Serial Killer in Russian History (1993), and the highly-rated 1995 TV-movie it inspired: Citizen X (1995).