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Russia Bans Dark Comedy ‘The Death of Stalin’

Russia has banned “The Death of Stalin” from being shown in cinemas after officials claimed the dark comedy was offensive.

A Russian culture ministry spokeswoman said the film is being pulled for containing “information whose distribution is legally banned in Russia,” according to Agency France-Presse.

The political satire was previously set for a limited release in theaters.

“The Death of Stalin” depicts Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s final days and the chaos that ensues following his death. The recently released trailer features scenes with Nikita Khrushchev, played by Steve Buscemi, discussing funeral arrangements and Stalin’s committee figuring out how to run the country.

The film is directed and co-written by “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci, who also wrote political sitcom “The Thick of It.” Rupert Friend, Andrea Riseborough, and Jeffrey Tambor also star in “The Death of Stalin.”

Iannucci tweeted his optimism about the film’s potential for release despite the ban. “We still remain hopeful. I’ll keep you all posted,” he wrote.

“The Death of Stalin” was nominated for two BAFTA Awards for adapted screenplay and British film of the year. At this year’s British Independent Film Awards, the movie won four awards, including best supporting actor and best casting.

“The Death of Stalin” opens in U.S. theaters on March 9.

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