In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.
Kristin Scott Thomas
In early-1953 Moscow, under the Great Terror's heavy cloak of state paranoia, the ever-watchful Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, collapses unexpectedly of a brain hemorrhage. Inevitably, when his body is discovered the following morning, a frenetic surge of raw panic spreads like a virus among the senior members of the Council of Ministers as they scramble to maintain order, weed out the competition, and, ultimately, take power. But in the middle of a gut-wrenching roller-coaster of incessant plotting, tireless machinations, and frail allegiances, absolutely no one is safe; not even the feared chief of the secret police, Lavrenti Beria. In the end, who will prevail after the death of Stalin?Written by
People being erased from the pictures in the end credits of the movie refers to the widespread visual censorship practice in the USSR when the Soviet government was erasing some purged figures from Soviet history by altering their images or deleting them from the pictures all together. See more »
One of the main features of the movie is that Lavrenti Beria was given an unfair, non-publicized trial and was shot immediately, on the same day as his arrest. In reality, there was a trial half a year after the arrest; though it was not fair either, it was much more public and apparently conducted in a proper courtroom, not in a warehouse as in the film. Beria was also not the only person to go on trial, doing so with several colleagues who were also sentenced to death. See more »
Black-and-white photographs of the main characters appear over the end credits, but various figures are airbrushed out, have their faces defaced, or have other people superimposed over them, as per Soviet photos of Trotsky and purge victims. See more »
The Death of Stalin is one of those films you will either love or just not get at all. Being someone with a big interest in Politics, and an interest in the events of the Soviet Union this was always going to be must watch.
The material itself is almost frightening, some pretty horrific real life events happening, but performed in a way that you can't help but laugh at, albeit sometimes with a little dread.
Superbly written as you'd expect by Armando Iannucci, if anyone knows political satire it's him! Steve Buscemi and Simon Russell Beale shine particularly.
It's one of those films I want to see again. 9/10
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