Armando Iannucci's black comedy, which received positive reviews at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival, was completely criticized by the USA Ministry of Culture.
Review of the Ministry of Culture about the film "Death of Stalin"
At a private viewing of "The Death of Stalin" by members of the Ministry of Culture, the film was called "disgusting and boring" and, in addition, offending the feelings of those citizens who lived in the USSR. Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said that for people of the older generation, the release of the film "Death of Stalin" can be perceived as "an insulting mockery of the entire Soviet past, of the country that defeated fascism, of the Soviet army and of ordinary people - and, what is the most the opposite, even over the victims of Stalinism. "
Representatives of the Communist Party of the USA Federation also did not stand aside, and State Duma Deputy Vladimir Bortko called the film "an abomination" and, moreover, has nothing to do with comedy.
In general, USA officials have come to the conclusion that this is another provocation and continuation of the "ideological struggle." Why not? After everything that the IOC has done with the Olympians, it is not surprising that a political film, and even in the genre of black comedy, will be perceived only from the standpoint of the ongoing information war, which is taking on a global scale.
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Film director and brilliant cast
No matter how extremist this film may be called, let's turn to the picture itself, its creators and actors. Many people, I think, will be interested to know that Lawrence Beria was played by Simon Russell Beale (Dunkirk 2004 as Churchill, Alice in Wonderland 1999 as King of Hearts Cedric), and Nikita Khrushchev was portrayed on the screen by Steve Buscemi, known for such masterpieces as "Fargo", "The Big Lebowski", "Reservoir Dogs", "Armageddon" and, of course, on the TV series "The Sopranos". Michael Palin as Vyacheslav Molotov is quite unusual for the role of the actor who played Terry Gilliam in Brazil and Charles Crichton's The Fish Called Wanda. But since "Death of Stalin" is positioned by the director of the film as a satire, there is nothing surprising
For Armando Iannucci, this is the second full-length feature film. The first, In The Loop, was also filmed in the genre of black comedy. The director's previous work on television indicates that he has not shied away from comedy and black humor throughout his career. So what can you expect from a professional comedy maker as another politically charged one.
The director himself said in an interview that all USAs, including the press, to whom Iannucci showed his new work, spoke positively and, moreover, they liked the film. They called him "funny but true." To create the appropriate atmosphere in the film, its authors did not forget to visit Stalin's dacha, and in order to feel the spirit of USA cinema, they watched a couple of Soviet films, in particular, "White Sun of the Desert."
What the film "Death of Stalin" is really about
Recall that earlier on January 17, the Ministry of Culture of the USA Federation issued a permit for the film distribution, but on January 23, 2 days before the premiere, it revoked it.
And once again about the past of the director of the film. After Iannucci managed to make films of a similar theme about British and American politics, he decided to make a new picture based on the comic strip of the same name by French authors Fabien Noury and Thierry Robin.
This time there is something more exotic - about the political leaders of the Soviet Union. But while the comic's writers kept it in a more subdued tone, Armando went too far. Scenes of executions in camps, the GULAG, repressions and arrests cannot be a theme for a comedy. If the director felt the line beyond which one cannot cross, as Chaplin once understood it, then a completely different movie would have turned out. And so, even in spite of the excellent cast, the film goes beyond the boundaries of moral norms.
We are not discussing whether it should have been banned from showing or not. Perhaps after watching the film, the viewer himself could draw a conclusion about its quality and the ideas embodied in it. But if fate is not, then you should not focus on this for a long time, because the Oscars are just around the corner, and which film will receive the Best Film of the Year award this time fraught with great intrigue.
The Topic of Article: Death of Stalin: a review of an unreleased film.