Russian Culture Ministry Bans Film Satirizing Josef Stalin’s Death


The Russian government has banned a film about Soviet leader Josef Stalin on the basis that it makes a mockery of the former leader’s death.  “Many elderly people…will see it as an insulting derision of the Soviet past, of the country that defeated Nazism, of the Soviet army and ordinary people, and, what is the most appalling, even of the victims of Stalinism,” Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said in a statement.

“We have no censorship” and “…aren’t afraid of a critical view of our history [but] there is a moral boundary between a critical analysis of history and a mockery of it,” Medinsky added.

The Culture Ministry rescinded the permit that would have allowed the film to run in Russia.  The cancellation came after some Russian lawmakers viewed the film and asked the ministry to keep it out of theaters.

The film, “The Death of Stalin” is the work of Scottish writer and director by Scottish Armando Iannucci.  It stars Steve Buscemi and Jason Isaacs.  The movie premiered in England in October and was scheduled to open in Russia on Thursday.

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