CATEGORIES Action, Drama, Foreign Language, Box Office, Politics, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeMark reported last week on Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, the anti-American, anti-Jewish movie about the war in Iraq that was rampaging through the Turkish box office. It's slowly being released around Europe now, and responses have been complex to say the least. In Germany, which has a substantial Turkish population, the film sold 200,000 tickets and finish its opening week as the fifth most-seen film in the country, despite demands from Jewish groups and conservative politicians that it be pulled from theaters.
Now, though, after almost two weeks of showing the film, Cinemaxx - the biggest theater chain the country - has decided to remove Valley from its screens. Though some liberal politicians in Germany are unsettled by the decision, the country's large Turkish population makes the issue a complicated one. According to reports, "The film comes at a time when the integration of Turks into German society is lagging due to high levels of crime, unemployment and failures in education — and critics say that the movie offers little to improve the dialogue." Additionally, fears about possible racial conflicts are high in the wake of the recent riots in France, and many people who normally support free speech are not sure it's worth the risk in this case.
Despite the move by Cinemaxx, however, Valley remains on screens in Germany. It cannot be officially banned unless it's found to violate laws against hate speech or the glorification of intense violence, neither of which seems likely at this point.