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11.35 20 Sep 2017


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Officials in Russia have indicated they will consider banning a new comedy film from the creator of Veep and The Thick Of It.

The Death Of Stalin is the latest satire from British writer & director Armando Iannucci, and parodies the aftermath of Joseph Stalin's death in 1953.

The film - which is based on a graphic novel and stars Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko and Michael Palin - recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to critical acclaim.

While the film has been picked up for distribution in Russia, local media reports that it is likely to come under scrutiny before any possible theatrical release.

It comes amid a furore over the film Mathilde, an historical drama focusing on ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska and her relationship with Tsar Nicholas II.

Russia's leading cinema chain has announced it will not screen that film, saying it was a 'forced decision' after protests and some threats from Orthodox activists.

The Guardian reports that The Death Of Stalin has already provoked objections, with the Russian Communist Party - the second largest party in parliament - slamming it as 'revolting'.

In comments quoted by The Moscow Times, Pavel Pozhigaylo - deputy chairman of the Russian Culture Ministry’s public council - said: "If the film about Stalin is as provocative as Mathilde, then it should not be released.

"We will ask that not only the members of the Culture Ministry, but also members of the public council, are able to watch it."

A Kremlin spokesperson, meanwhile, said he believes the ministry will act 'extremely responsibly' when making a decision on the film's distribution.

The Death Of Stalin is due for release in Ireland next month. 


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