It’s bad news for Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin. The award-winning picture has been banned from cinemas in Russia for being offensive.
A Russian culture ministry spokeswoman said the film is being pulled for containing “information whose distribution is legally banned in Russia,” according to Agency France-Presse
Iannucci’s satirical comedy was set for a limited release in cinemas from Thursday after local distributors Volga Film gained an 18+ certificate from the culture ministry. This prompted a wave of protests from conservative figures although it got good reviews in Russian broadsheets.
After a private screening of ministers and film directors, a letter was compiled and signed by those in attendance to Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky to delay the release of the film. The letter contained a negative response to the film stating that elements in the film “can be assessed as extremist and aimed at humiliating Russian people,”
Iannucci seemed to be taking the news in his stride and remains hopeful that the decision can be overturned.
We still remain hopeful. I’ll keep you all posted x https://t.co/Kj16zAKgQM
— Armando Iannucci (@Aiannucci) January 23, 2018
The film focuses on the internal political landscape of 1950’s Soviet Russia. In the days following Stalin’s collapse, his core team of ministers tussle for control; some want positive change in the Soviet Union, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They’re all just desperately trying to remain alive.
The film won four awards, including best supporting actor and best casting at the British Independent Film Awards and was nominated for two BAFTA’s.