Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi at Moscow State University in March 2010.© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Fedorenko
MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Award-winning Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi voiced doubts this week that Russia’s legislative attempts to restrict minors’ access to information about homosexuality would yield the desired results.
“To prohibit is always something that [the] state tries to do and the result is often counterproductive. Look at alcohol. Alcohol is so bad for us. But there were efforts to make alcohol illegal. They didn’t work,” Zanussi told RIA Novosti on the sidelines of an international, Kremlin-backed forum about Russia’s role in the modern world, taking place Monday through Thursday in the northwestern Novgorod Region.
While Zanussi expressed no objections to the content of the recent Russian legislation banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relations to those under 18, he pointed out the danger of choosing stability over progress when contemplating human values and suggested that labeling homosexuality “non-traditional” was not entirely accurate.
“Homosexuality is as old as humanity is and it’s very hard to say what’s propaganda and what’s expression of homosexuality,” Zanussi said Tuesday, while attending the 10th meeting of the so-called Valdai Club, an annual conference that brings together Russian and foreign public figures and pundits.
The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, has stirred high-profile criticism in the West and small protests in Russia, in part for its extremely vague wording and poor definitions.
Zanussi added that he considered it “bad taste to manifest sexual orientation in public, whatever it is.”
Zanussi has been a frequent visitor to Russia, where he has staged plays and won awards at the Moscow International Film Festival. The 74-year-old director, whose films often wrestle with the pursuit of meaning and morality in life, has also won awards at Cannes and the Berlin International Film Festival, according to the International Movie Database website.
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