The Death Of Stalin’s writer and director Armando Iannucci has admitted that he was attracted to the political satire because of the rise of dictatorships in the modern political climate, while he also revealed that the chaos of Donald Trump’s presidency made an impact on the film, too.
Iannucci’s sophomore release as a a writer and director after “In The Loop” is based upon Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin’s graphic novel of the same name, which is itself based upon the aftermath to the death of Joseph Stalin, the second ruler of the Soviet Union.
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“The graphic novel was sent to me with a view of directing it,” Iannucci recalled over the phone when I asked him how he first became involved in “The Death Of Stalin.” “I never thought I would adapt someone else’s work.”
“But I had actually been thinking about doing something about dictators anyway, because something strange is happening in democracies around the world and the rise of nationalist and populist figures likes Putin and Berlusconi and Erdogan. People who get elected and then try and change the rules so that they can stay on."
“Weird things have been happening. So the book was bizarrely prescient, it was scary, absurd, funny, horrifying, it had all of the things I was looking for anyway. And it was all the better for being true.”
“It meant I didn’t need to come up with a fictional thing, because this actually happened. And the truer we make it the funnier it will be. I instantly agreed to do it after reading it, because I could see how to do it, too.”
I then brought up the inevitable comparisons between the the antics of “The Death Of Stalin” and the current chaos of the Donald Trump presidency.
Iannucci revealed that the comedy had actually finished shooting before Trump had even become the nominee for the Republican Party, but the parallels between the the now 45th President Of The United States and the Communist Party under Stalin were immediately clear.
“We finished shooting it in 2016 before Trump was even the nominee for his party. But it was no big surprise that something similar to what had been happening across the world was happening in America.“
“As I was editing I could see the parallels. We talk about false narrative and being in a new reality in the film, and Trump and Kellanye Conway were talking about fake news and alternative facts.”
“Trump telling everyone of his cabinet to say how great he was felt very similar to the Committee meetings in the film. It was bizarre to see it unfold.”
“Even though everything was in the can before Mr Trump arrived, I am more than happy for people to see the similarities. Even if it is not a parable.”
You can try and spot the similarities between the Trump presidency and “The Death Of Stalin” now, as the film has just been released.