Big-budget Russian flop makes Oscar long-list despite scandal

The American Film Academy has included Nikita Mikhalkov’s controversial film “The Citadel” in its Oscar long list.

That’s despite the fact that the head of Russia’s Oscar Committee refuses to support the nomination.

“The Citadel” was a big-budget flop, costing nearly $40 million and earning only a fraction of that figure back.

The head of Russia’s Oscar Committee, the celebrated director Vladimir Menshov, thinks the film should not represent Russia in the Best Foreign Film category. He also says committee members are too closely linked to Mikhalkov.

“The Citadel” is the second part of the sequel to Mikhalkov’s film “Burnt by the Sun,” which won an Oscar in 1994. Most Russian critics say it stands little chance of being shortlisted.

The first part of the sequel, “The Exodus”, was up for the coveted Golden Palm award at the 63rd International Cannes festival last year. However, the director did not bring home any trophies from the French Riviera. That film also turned out to be a box-office flop in Russia and overseas.

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