Emir Kusturica concert cancelled over support of Crimea

Emir Kusturica concert cancelled over support of Crimea
Concert at Budapest Park in 2014 (Image: Derzsi Elekes Andor under a CC licence)

16 July 2015

The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture has cancelled a charity concert with Serbian filmmaker and musician Emir Kusturica and his band The No Smoking Orchestra scheduled to take place at the Kiev Sports Palace on 28 June.

The event entitled Love Saves the World was meant to mark the millennium since the death of Volodymyr the Great. On 15 July, the Ministry of Culture appealed to the Interior of Ministry to prevent Kusturica’s performance to “avoid the risks of mass violations of the public order, protest rallies and sabotage of the event” as a result of the public figure’s support of Russia’s stand on Ukraine, Interfax reported yesterday.

Last year, the winner of two Palme d’Or awards at the Cannes Film Festival for films When My Father Was Away on Business (1985) and Underground (1995), was quoted saying: “I believe Russia ought to protect ethnic Russians living in Ukraine and thereby save the country from a catastrophe.”

In April 2015 Ministry of Culture had similarly cancelled the concert of Serbian musician Goran Bregović, who composed the soundtracks for Kusturica movies, after his performance in Crimea in March 2015.