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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Russia's ban on 'The Death of Stalin' is unprecedented since fall of Soviet Union

    That decision has raised fears about the return of censorship and the further rehabilitation of one of history’s tyrants

    “The comedy The Death of Stalin has been banned,” wrote the writer Vladimir Voinovich on Facebook. “Because for those banning it, Stalin is still alive – and that is no comedy.”


    On Tuesday, the Russian ministry of culture made a dramatic last-minute decision to withdraw the screening licence of Armando Iannucci’s dark satire. That decision – the first ever of its kind in post-Soviet Russia – has raised fears about the return of censorship and the further rehabilitation of one of history’s tyrants.


    But there seems to be more to the story than first meets the eye. We may not fully understand the mechanism in which the ministry decided the film was not fit for cinemas, a few weeks after being issued with a licence. Reading between the lines of often muddled official positions, it appears many contexts were at play: business, politics, wounded pride and possibly even incompetence. The Ministry’s recent backtracking of a decision to postpone the film Paddington 2 – to prioritise a Russian film being released on the same day – may have played a crucial role.


    At least some of the conservative reaction seemed to be as real as it was righteous.


    Celebrated filmmaker Vladimir Bortko, a signatory to the letter announcing the ban, said the film was a “tremendous abomination”. The only reason it was produced was to denigrate the Communist Party, he said: “For some reason, they say it’s a comedy ... There is so much hatred in this film. It will not be shown.”


    Another high-profile signatory to the letter was the Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov, who is a friend of the president. Mikhalkov claimed the film was “unprofessional” – from the acting through to the camera work. “It’s not a film so much as a speculative operation unworthy of discussion,” he said.


    Pavel Pozhigailo, a member of ministry of culture’s advisory council described the film as “blasphemous”. “We don’t have to be a country of masochists,” he said. “This is insulting our national symbols. The trailer goes out using our national anthem and it shows our great war marshals as ... I don’t know how else to put it ... idiots.”


    MORE
    Russia's ban on 'The Death of Stalin' is unprecedented since fall of Soviet Union | The Independent

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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  • #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Looks a fun watch.

  • #4
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    A Moscow movie theater flouts Russia's ban on ‘The Death of Stalin,’ and punishment is on the way

    Despite the Culture Ministry’s decision to revoke the distribution license for “The Death of Stalin,” Moscow’s “Pioneer” movie theater showed the film twice on Thursday, and 11 more screenings are planned before February 3.


    According to the news agency RIA Novosti, every single showtime is already sold out. The government has threatened to fine the cinema as much as 100,000 rubles ($1,800) for showing the film without a distribution license, but the theater’s management claims the Culture Ministry’s original license is still technically in force.


    If a movie theater continues showing an unlicensed film after incurring a fine, it can be shut down for up to 90 days. So far, the government has only threatened “Pioneer,” but AFP Moscow correspondent Ola Cichowlas tweeted photos from the theater on Friday afternoon showing several police officers inside the building.

    At the time of this writing, the officers refused to tell Cichowlas what was going on, claiming they’d only come to watch a movie. According to Matthew Bodner, another Moscow-based journalist, the police were apparently collecting evidence of ticket sales.

    https://meduza.io/en/news/2018/01/26...-is-on-the-way

  • #5
    Sukhumvet
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    ...and we thought the Germans had no sense of humour.

  • #6
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    ^To be fair:
    Wondering about the American sense of humour in case they would be fed by so many films about stories of heroic German soldiers and their counterparts laughing stock of US army servicemen?

    As we had the chance for over half century to see the many (US, UK, FR, IT) films about the "humorous" German Army...

    Assuming that the total running time of those thousands movies made by Hollywood industry about the WW2 stories of heroic battles will hugely overpass the actual fighting time of those armies...

  • #7
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Seen any of these?


    The Top 50 Military Comedies of All Time

    http://www.flickchart.com/Charts.asp...pW6gEA5oXfM.99


    Dr. Strangelove is the best of that bunch, IMO.
    Last edited by misskit; 28-01-2018 at 10:54 AM.

  • #8
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    Bit too close to home for our Vlad.

  • #9
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Activists challenge Russia's ban on “The Death of Stalin” with a lawsuit in a city devastated by the Gulag

    Human rights activists in Syktyvkar have filed a lawsuit challenging the Culture Ministry’s decision to revoke the distribution license for Armando Iannucci's new comedy “The Death of Stalin.”


    The activists argue that the government’s decision violates the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 44 of the Russian Constitution (which guarantees artistic freedom and participation in cultural life, and requires the preservation of historical heritage). Their lawsuit also states that Russia’s authorities illegally withdrew the film’s license, insofar as the ministry utilized its ability to ban distribution on the grounds that a public demonstration of the movie revealed that it contains “illegal information.” The activists point out that the film wasn’t screened publicly before the government’s ban, and officials never explained what is illegal about Iannucci's comedy.


    Why sue in Syktyvkar? The region was tightly integrated with the Soviet Gulag, meaning that nearly every family with local roots dating back a few generations suffered directly because of Stalinism. The activists say they hope the court in Syktyvkar will be more inclined to consider their lawsuit objectively.



    On January 23, days before “The Death of Stalin” was due to premiere in Russia, the Culture Ministry revoked the film’s distribution license. Hours before, the movie was screened for a group state officials who roundly criticized it as a mockery of Soviet history.


    Despite the ban, a movie theater in Moscow managed to screen the film four times, before the government pressured it to stop.

    https://meduza.io/en/news/2018/02/07...d-by-the-gulag

  • #10
    Just centre of centre
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    Well at least now they have guaranteed by banning it that, A, many more people will have now heard of it and ,B, many more people will now watch it.

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