In Russia, ‘The Death of Stalin’ Is No Laughing Matter

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tags: Russia, Stalin, The Death of Stalin

 “The Death of Stalin,” a blackly comic movie about the Soviet leader and his cowed entourage, has earned widespread praise in Britain as a tongue-in-cheek spoof about a bygone era in a country that has long since collapsed. In Russia, the movie has been denounced as a sacrilegious portrayal of those responsible for victory over Fascism. And now it has been pulled from theaters.

On Tuesday, two days before the movie’s official release in Russia, the Culture Ministry withdrew the film’s distribution license. The ministry’s lawyers recommended that the film be banned on grounds of “extremism,” citing its unfavorable portrayal of historical figures like Georgy Zhukov, the Red Army marshal lionized in Russia for his role in defeating Hitler’s forces.

“The film desecrates our historical symbols — the Soviet hymn, orders and medals, and Marshal Zhukov is portrayed as an idiot,” Pavel Pozhigaylo, a member of the Culture Ministry’s advisory board, told the RBC newspaper after a private screening on Monday to determine the film’s fate.

Read entire article at NYT

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