Russian Federation bans Iannucci's 'vicious' film The Death of Stalin

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Unless of course, you're talking to members of Russia' culture ministry, who were apparently so incensed by the satirical graphic novel adaptation that they have banned it from being shown in Russian theaters.

There had been hope for a Russian release and talks had been ongoing, but a ban has now been imposed.

The film, which focuses on the back-stabbing and in-fighting of the Soviet leader's closest allies as they vie for power immediately after his death, was viewed by culture ministry officials and advisors at the weekend.

But not all in Russian Federation agreed after a public screening for film industry representatives, politicians and historians was held on Monday. "(The audience), me included, saw elements of extremism in the film", she said. The plaintiffs wanted Medinsky to "check if the acclaimed film broke any Russian laws".

"Marshal Zhukov is depicted as a jerk".

The letter published on the culture ministry's site slammed the film as "lampooning the history of our country" and "blackening the memory of our citizens who conquered fascism".

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According to the country's State-run news agency RIA Novosti, the culture ministry withdrew the distribution licence for Armando Iannucci's satire at the last minute.

The also complained about the trailer for the film, which used "obscene expressions and actions" to play the National Anthem.

It has been reported that the release may be put back until the summer, to avoid clashing with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad. The culture ministry and the film's director could not be reached for comment.

"The Death of Stalin" became the top trending item on Russian Twitter after the announcement.

But critic Andrei Arkhangelsky wrote in Ogonyok magazine that the irreverent comedy is paradoxically able to "convey the full seriousness of what happened".

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