Armando Iannucci has called the ban of The Death Of Stalin in Russia completely bizarre, while insisting that it has only helped to increase the exposure for the comedy.
“It just seems so bizarre,” Iannucci explained to me over the phone when I asked him about “The Death Of Stalin” not being shown in Russian cinemas.
“Because banning in this day and age is just never going to work. There was a thing in the Moscow Times that revealed that 60% of Russians want to see the film because it is banned.”
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“And they’ll get to see it, because in this world of digital whatever anything is accessible. I don’t know what it is trying to achieve.”
Iannucci also has an explanation for why “The Death Of Stalin” has been banned in Russia, as he remarked, “I think it was someone somewhere in the Ministry Of Culture who got nervous, there is a Presidential election coming up.”
That’s exactly why the Scottish writer and director is confident that “The Death Of Stalin” will eventually make its way to Russian audiences, too, as he added, “I think once that is out of the way I am hopeful we will get it back into the cinemas.”
Russian moviegoers will be hoping that’s the case, too, as The Death Of Stalin has been roundly praised by both critics and audiences alike. It currently has a score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, while, despite being released into only 4 theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, “The Death Of Stalin” has the second-best screen to box office average of the year so far, after “Black Panther.”
Set in 1953, “The Death Of Stalin” revolves around the passing of the Soviet Union ruler, and then the behind the scenes back-stabbing and power struggles of those underneath the despot to replace him. Most importantly, though, it is also hilarious, too.