ATHENS – Greek police were sent to movie theaters on orders of two ministers to take out adolescents watching the violent film Joker that is limited to those over 18, drawing scorn and ridicule, leading Culture Minister Lena Mendoni to say the officials would be disciplined.
Mendoni said the action exceeded the jurisdiction of the ministers who weren’t named but didn’t blame the police fore escorting out of the theater about a dozen minors who were taken to police precincts to be picked up by their parents or guardians.
Later press reports said the ministers were were affiliated with the previous ruling Radical Left SYRIZA while Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis, responded to opposition criticism by Tweeting that he would see the film and take his 15-year-old son in violation of the laws he’s charged with enforcing.
Police were called to at least two movie theaters in Athens to check whether unaccompanied minors were in attendance as a furor developed over the movie that is drawing record-breaking crowds in Greece and has been reviewed as either brilliant or garbage.
SYRIZA accused the new New Democracy government of being authoritarian, the leftists riddled with anarchist and terrorist sympathizers for whom the movie is a symbol of their alleged stand against the establishment to which their party bowed while in power before being ousted by New Democracy in July 7 snap elections.
The R-rated film with an 18-year-old age limit is also said to be drawing massive crowds of adolescents under that age with no reports on whether theaters were checking identification to make sure they’re allowed to go in to watch.