Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin has been pulled in Russia ahead of its release after it was criticized by Russian authorities.
The film was due to be released in Russian theaters this week by local distributor Volga Film after it received an 18+ certificate. However, following an advanced screening, the culture ministry withdrew this certificate.
The movie depicts the chaos of the regime after Stalin’s death in 1953 and 30 years of iron-fisted rule and is an adaptation of Fabien-Nury’s graphic novel. Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Paddy Considine, Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and Olga Kurylenko star in the pic, which centers on the last days of the Soviet dictator. Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky and Kevin Loader produced, and Jean-Christophe Colson executive producing.
The culture advisory committee had previously recommended rescheduling the film so it did not clash with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad. Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky was urged to delay the film and check if it broke the law.
Veep creator Iannucci told the Guardian: “All the Russians we’ve shown the film to so far, including Russian press, have said how much they enjoyed and appreciated the film. They say two things: it’s funny, but it’s true. I’m still confident we can get it in cinemas.”
The Death of Stalin made its World Premiere at Toronto, and won three awards at the British Independent Film Awards. It is debuting in the U.S. at the Sundance Film Festival in January in the Spotlight section and will be released by IFC Films on March 9.