Police visit Moscow cinema showing banned satirical film

Police have shown up at a Moscow cinema that screened a satirical film about Soviet leader Josef Stalin in defiance of an official Russian government ban.

The Culture Ministry this week rescinded a permit allowing British writer-director Armando Iannucci’s The Death Of Stalin to be shown in cinemas after communists and others criticised it as a mockery of Russian history.

Moscow police did not immediately declare the purpose of their visit to the Pioner theatre, but it followed the ministry’s warning that the cinema could face sanctions in line with the law.

Pioner had ignored the decision and started screening the film on Thursday.

Russian police visit the Pioner movie theater in Moscow, Russia. AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Showing an unlicensed movie is punishable by a fine.

Stalin remains widely admired in Russia, despite his brutal purges that killed millions.

- AP

Most Read in World