The German action film “Tschiller: Off Duty,” starring Til Schweiger, allegedly portrays a Russian secret service agent in a positive light, say Ukrainian authorities. The movie has been banned in the ex-Soviet country.
Scene from Tschiller: Off Duty wtih Til Schweiger (Warner Bros.)
According to Ukrainian law, films that take a positive perspective on any branch of the Russian government are forbidden. The strict censorship law is a reaction to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s support of separatists in Ukraine.
Apparently, Til Schweiger’s “Tschiller: Off Duty” didn’t fit the bill in Ukraine.
“The law makes it clear that we must ban the film regardless of its origin,” the vice-president of the Ukrainian film agency, Sergei Neretin, told radio broadcaster Westi. The rule applies to films made after August 1, 1991. Ukraine declared independence later that month.
The action flick, which was released in February in Germany, is officially the fourth episode Schweiger made for Germany’s longest-running crime television show, “Tatort.” However, as an exception, it was also shown in cinemas in Germany.
For “Tatort,” Schweiger plays the Hamburg detective Nick Tschiller. Tschiller doesn’t just investigate in Hamburg, where he is based, but also heads to Moscow and Istanbul and is constantly involved in shootouts reminiscent of James Bond.
Schweiger is well known in Germany, more recently for his lighter family films like “Rabbit without Ears,” but is also a regular in Hollywood productions, including “Inglourious Basterds,” “New Year’s Eve” and “The Courier.”