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Russian Critic Accidentally Reviews ‘Creatively’ Dubbed, Bootleg ‘Iron Lady’

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
March 25, 2012

Margaret Thatcher was tough on the Russians, but perhaps not quite as tough as she appears in a pirated version of The Iron Lady biopic that’s making the rounds in Moscow.

The film, which recently won Meryl Streep an Oscar for her portrayal of the former British Prime Minister, got a special treatment in the Russian bootleg version. There, a voiceover has Thatcher stating in Russian: “Crush the working class, crush the scum, the yobs.”

Apparently an overzealous translator got his hands on the movie and turned Thatcher and her advisors into a somewhat sinister cabal. But what made things worse was that this version was reviewed — inadvertently — by one of Russia’s top film critics.

He gave the movie a pretty positive review in the newspaper Kommersant, all the while quoting Thatcher as a Hitler-loving nemesis of the common man.

It seems that “creative” dubbing is a bit of a Russian tradition. According to the BBC, there was a famous underground translator known as Goblin whose versions of films were said to be better than the originals. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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