The Death Of Stalin has reportedly been banned in Russia, despite being pencilled in for a limited run in select cinemas. The BBC says that the film’s distribution certificate was withdrawn, effectively cancelling its planned Thursday release.
A Russian culture ministry spokeswoman has stated that the film is being pulled for containing “information whose distribution is legally banned in Russia.” The following was added to the statement from official quarters:
“A decision on whether it will be shown will be made later.”
The Death Of Stalin opened to huge acclaim late last year after very positive runs at the fall film festivals.
Adapted from the French graphic novel of the same name, the film follows the political power struggle in the Soviet Union following the death of dictator Joseph Stalin in 1953, increasing the ridiculousness factor so that it plays out like a more focused Monty Python sketch. The key players include Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), Stalin’s painfully nervous immediate successor who is more concerned with recreating Stalin’s publicity stunts than providing any sort of political consolidation or reform; general secretary Nikita Kruschev (Steve Buscemi), whose cunning offers some of the film’s more memorable comedic moments; and chief of security and secret police Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale), the political embodiment of evil. All are after Stalin’s seat and all are fully prepared to cross their comrades to get it.