Posted: Sun., Feb. 10, 2008, 9:34am PT

'Charlie' won't play in Russia

Tom Hanks film denied release

"Charlie Wilson's War" won't unspool in Russia in spring as planned after local distrib UPI Russia decided not to release the pic theatrically.

Local commentators are debating whether the film's subject -- the Soviet-Afghan war -- is too hot to handle for local audiences.

UPI Russia topper Yevgeny Beginin denied that, saying, "We simply decided that the film would not make a profit."

Local sensibilities were behind the Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography's refusal to grant "Borat" an exhibition license in 2006 although FACC reps insist that this was not the case with "Charlie Wilson's War."

Reaction from local bloggers, who had seen the film on pirated DVDs, was negative. One wrote: "The whole film shows Russians, or rather Soviets, as brutal killers."

Pic went out on wide release in neighboring Ukraine and took the No. 3 slot at the box office.


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