Very recently there seems to be a rash of Hollywood films that portray Orthodox characters--always Russian Orthodox ones--in an extremely negative light.Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
is the first example I can think of: it came out in January 2014 and features a Russian plot to collapse the U.S. economy by staging an al-Qaeda-style terrorist attack followed by an engineered financial collapse. The plot is codenamed "Operation Lamentations", and the young man who is selected to carry out the attack is shown attending a Russian Orthodox church where the priest selects Lamentations 2:2 as the daily Bible reading. This verse is in fact the code phrase used to activate the attacker.
Later this year, The Equalizer
(with Denzel Washington) came out and it features a Russian mafia led by an oligarch whose name is Vladimir Pushkin (does that name sound like anyone you know?) The gang's American headquarters is in the upper room of a nightclub and there is a huge icon of the Theotokos behind the leader's desk. During a fight in which Washington's character dispatches several of the gangsters, the icon is bloodied.
I haven't seen John Wick
yet, but according to the Wikipedia article it's about a guy who used to work for a Russian gang and has since turned against them, but there is a combat scene at a church (I'm guessing an Orthodox one but don't know for sure since I haven't seen it) and the church building is being used as a front for the gang.
I suspect this recent trend is because Orthodox Christians aren't a very large demographic, so the film studios don't have to worry about alienating potential consumers. You don't see evangelical churches being portrayed this way in film, at least not nearly as often.
It might also be more politically/culturally than religiously motivated. Everyone just loves to bash Putin and Russia these days. You don't see this kind of stuff in movies with Greeks, or Lebanese Antiochians, or Armenians, or Ethiopians. It seems to specifically be an animus against Russians
(or perhaps more broadly, Slavs). Why do filmmakers feel that way?
Someone ought to make a sequel to this documentary and call it "Reel Bad Russians".