The Death of Stalin Banned from Russian cinemas
When the independent distributor Volga-Film announced the release of Armando Ianucci’s dark comedy The Death of Stalin in Russia, backlash was sure to follow. The fact that Stalin is praised by many Russians as a strong leader even 65 years after his death and that some parallels to the modern Russia under Putin can be drawn are fuel to the anger the film is confronted with.
All the more surprising is the fact that the movie initially received the valid distribution license allowing it to start in Russian cinemas on January 25th, 2018. However, a protest letter circulated in Russian media two days prior to release accusing the film of lacking respect in its portrayal of the country’s history. On the release day itself, the license was revoked. The reasoning was that it disseminates information that is considered illegal in the territory of the Russian federation. A Moscow-based cinema that dared to screen The Death of Stalin anyway was visited by police the next day.
Less surprising is that other countries such as Germany remain unphased by this and will show the film in theaters.