Russia Bans The ‘Disgusting’ Armando Iannucci Satire ‘The Death Of Stalin’ From Its Theaters

News & Culture Writer
01.23.18

IFC Films

The Thick of It and Veep creator Armando Iannucci’s latest political farce, The Death of Stalin, looks like it might be a timely send-up of contemporary geopolitics, even if early reviews have been mixed. Unless of course, you’re talking to members of Russia’ culture ministry, who were apparently so incensed by the satirical graphic novel adaptation that they have banned it from being shown in Russian theaters. According to The Guardian, the culture ministry withdrew its prior permission for the film’s release after Russian arts figures deemed it “offensive and extremist.”

As angry as Russian officials apparently are, however, Iannucci maintains that those who saw the film thought it was “funny”:

Yelena Drapeko, deputy head of the lower house of parliament’s culture committee, told RBK news she had “never seen anything so disgusting in my life”. “(The audience), me included, saw elements of extremism in the film,” she said.

Iannucci… said: “All the Russians we’ve shown the film to so far, including Russian press, have said how much they enjoyed and appreciated the film. They say two things: it’s funny, but it’s true. I’m still confident we can get it in cinemas.”

Cultural Minister Vladimir Medinsky decided to pull the plug on allowing The Death of Stalin to screen in Russian theaters when 21 people who attended a preview screening signed a letter of protest. The plaintiffs wanted Medinsky to “check if the acclaimed film broke any Russian laws.” They also criticized Iannucci’s movie for “lampooning the history of our country” and “blackening the memory of our citizens who conquered fascism,” among other things.

(Via The Guardian)

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