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Russia pulls ‘despicable’ Death of Stalin from cinemas

Russia’s culture ministry has withdrawn permission for the release of Armando Iannucci’s black comedy The Death of Stalin, after officials and top arts figures labelled the movie offensive and extremist. An advisory committee to the ministry had earlier recommended postponing the release to avoid it clashing with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, after officials and film directors attended a private viewing on Monday.

“The distribution certificate for the film The Death of Stalin has been withdrawn,” a culture ministry spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse. The film had been set for a limited release in cinemas from Thursday after local distributors Volga Film gained an 18+ certificate. Yelena Drapeko, deputy head of the lower house of parliament’s culture committee, told RBK news she had “never seen anything so disgusting in my life”. “(The audience), me included, saw elements of extremism in the film,” she said.(theguardian)…[+]