Film di­rec­tor Emir Kus­turica vis­its Moscow-an­nexed Crimea

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Ac­claimed Ser­bian film­maker Emir Kus­turica yes­ter­day ar­rived in the Crimean penin­sula an­nexed by Rus­sia from Ukraine to give a con­cert with his No Smok­ing Orches­tra group. The two-time win­ner of the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val's Palme d'Or is set to give a con­cert in Crimea's Black Sea re­sort of Yalta. On ar­rival in the re­gional cap­i­tal of Sim­fer­opol, he told jour­nal­ists that "I know Yalta has won­der­ful scenery and nice girls," Rus­sia's RIA Novosti state news agency re­ported.

Kus­turica last year re­ceived a state honor called the Order of Friend­ship from Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin in a cer­e­mony at the Krem­lin, while Rus­sia and Ser­bia have close cul­tural ties. Ear­lier this month Kus­turica praised Putin's "gen­tle na­ture" in an in­ter­view with state-funded RT net­work, say­ing that the Krem­lin strong­man had made the coun­try proud of its his­tory and cul­ture. The di­rec­tor's visit to Crimea de­fied a clam­p­down by Ukraine on arts fig­ures who have vis­ited the Black Sea penin­sula since Moscow's 2014 an­nex­a­tion.

Ukraine has strict rules on vis­it­ing Crimea that only al­low vis­its with per­mis­sion from Kiev and via cer­tain en­try points. Those who fly into Crimea by plane from Moscow as Kus­turica did face a ban on en­try to Ukraine. Ukraine's se­cu­rity ser­vice has said it has is­sued travel bans on some 140 Rus­sian arts fig­ures over vis­its to

Emir Kus­turica

Crimea or ex­press­ing sup­port for Rus­sia's an­nex­a­tion of the penin­sula. A mu­sic fes­ti­val in Crimea in Au­gust is set to fea­ture Ger­man techno band Scooter-mas­sively pop­u­lar in the ex-So­viet Union in the 1990s-and Rus­sian rock band Len­ingrad, ac­cord­ing to its web­site. Kus­turica told Rus­sian news site this month that he is set to make a film based on themes from Fy­o­dor Dos­to­evsky's nov­els, which will be shot in China. — AFP

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