Leviathan may have been the first Russian film to win a Golden Globe since War and Peace in 1969, it may have been nominated for an Oscar and received five-star reviews in many Western publications, but back in the motherland it's been given the cold shoulder. Made partly with money from Russia's culture ministry and yet to be released in the country, the film, directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev, has been criticised by the culture minister himself and widely denounced as anti-Russian. When it is released, due early next month, it will be in a sanitised form more in accordance with a new Russian law banning swearing in films. The story of a family living in the far north of Russia, Leviathan portrays a man battling to save his home from demolition after a corrupt local bureaucrat sets his sights on expropriating the land for his own purposes. The satire of Russian authorities, the Orthodox church and the power structure in Russia is vicious and unrelenting, and even the victims are not particularly sympathetic characters, driven to drink, infidelities and anguished outbursts. Unmoved by the film's victory in the foreign language category at the Globes this month, the official reaction in Russia has been scathing. Vladimir Medinsky, the culture minister, told the Izvestia newspaper Leviathan's portrayal of the church was "beyond all limits" and said its characters were not real Russians. "However much the authors made the characters swear and swig litres of vodka, they are not Russians. I did not recognise myself, my colleagues, friends or even friends of friends in Leviathan's characters," said Medinsky. He said he hoped Zvyaginstev would make films in future "without this existential despair". "The ideas at the heart of it are relevant everywhere," Zvyagintsev said. "But of course it's a film about Russia." "Leviathan is filthy libel against the Russian church and the Russian state," wrote the Orthodox activist Kirill Frolov on his Facebook page, calling for the film to be banned in Russia.