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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

05/31/1997

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'Temptation' Is Too Much for NTV

Privately owned NTV television canceled Friday a showing of the controversial film ""The Last Temptation of Christ"" scheduled for early Saturday. NTV President Igor Malashenko made the decision without explanation, according to a spokeswoman. But it came one day after Patriarch Alexy II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, denounced the film as blasphemous and offensive to Russian Christians, and after criticism by nationalists and Communists. In an interview Thursday on the nationalist Russky Dom program on the MTK channel, the patriarch, who enjoys good relations with President Boris Yeltsin, said he would ask the government to deprive NTV of its broadcast license if it aired the movie. The film, by U.S. director Martin Scorcese, was condemned by conservative Christians in the United States, Europe and elsewhere after its release in 1988 for a fantasy sequence depicting Jesus having sex.

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