The film's comical take on Soviet leaders has been banned in Russia
The Ministry of Culture of Russia withdrew the rental certificate from the French-British comedy movie entitled The Death of Stalin, Novaya Gazeta reports.
This happened after a number of Russian cinematographers and members of the Public Council at the Ministry of Culture reviewed the film and wrote a letter requesting to prohibit it from being shown in the country’s cinemas, labeling the film as ‘offensive’. “In the tape our historical symbols such as the Soviet anthem, hymns and medals are desecrated. Marshal Zhukov is portrayed as an idiot.”
Members of the Public Council also believe that allowing the movie to be shown may impede the 75th anniversary of the end to the Stalingrad Battle.
The Death of Stalin is a comedy film by the British director Armando Iannucci. The film’s political thrust of jokes are reminiscent of Sasha Baron Cohen’s film The Dictator. The movie is about the struggle for power in the USSR, and presents Soviet leaders Khrushchev, Beria and Zhukov in a comical manner.
Its not the first time that Russian authorities have intervened in the film industry. A week ago their focus was on the film Paddington 2. The day before the film was released, the Russian Ministry of Culture postponed the premiere for two weeks. According to some media sources, this was done in order to prevent Paddington 2 from competing with Russian films that are currently in theaters.
After the Association of Cinema Owners condemned the actions of the Ministry of Culture, the film was nevertheless released, albeit with a delay of two days. As expected, the sales from Paddington 2 exceeded those of Russian films.
The biggest scandal in the Russian film industry last year was the attempt of State Duma Deputy Natalya Poklonskaya to ban the film Matilda, a story on the relationship between the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II with the ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya.
The Russian Orthodox public where so upset by the trailer of Matilda that the organization ‘Christian State – Holy Russia’ threatened the distributors with violent disruptions of screenings, including burning several cars in protest. However, the Ministry of Culture did not find any reasons to ban the film, and Matilda was shown in theaters.