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Death of Stalin

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  • #16
    So how many else have seen this laugh-out-loud comedy about a mass-murderer?

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    • #17
      So jamal, you won't have seen "Four Lions" then?

      I agree, that on the face of it, a film about someone who is widely recognised to be a "monster" seems like a really bad idea. But thinking about it, a film of this type, with appropriate and relevant historical input, can be an invaluable aid to help keep future generations informed. Entertainment that educates, is priceless. The Python team were told by a frindly Bishop, that their "Life of Brian" was a brilliant teaching aid to help explain what was going on in the times of Jesus (although most of the hyped-up controversy on its release was talking about blasphemy and being an insult to the Church).

      I've been waiting for a really good film about "another" leader, that could be used to warn/inform/prepare people of the dangers of populist leaders who have hidden agendas. When humour is used, it can work brilliantly. It is not fool-proof however, as Chaplin's "Great Dictator" showed - the audience aren't always ready to see the warnings, they just come for the laughs.

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      • #18
        I've just finished reading 'Stalin: the Court of the Red Czar'. His death was indeed both farcical and dangerous, and those around him behaved in a way which if you wrote it as fiction, simply would not be believed.

        Four Lions is a great film - it shows the bizarre ways in which idiots convince themselves they are on a mission, and ultimately do nothing more than make the world even worse. Life of Brain is also a wonderful way of showing the absurdities of religion.

        Actually, authoritarians hate being satirised - which is why 'Death of Stalin' is finding it so hard to get distributed in Russia. Thats why its important to use satire.

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        • #19
          I'm glad you brought it to my attention. I often feel quite ignorant on important matters and Film has often been the spur to encourage my interest. Brian and Four Lions are both in my list of top films... if The Death of Stalin can tap that kind of potential then it could be very good indeed.

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          • #20
            This has been a problem that has dogged Lubitsch's TO BE OR NOT TO BE for decades. The concentration camp jokes stick in one's craw even though you can't help but laugh at them. It needs to be pointed out that the script was written before the details of the Holocaust were not generally known and that Lubitsch all but disowned the film. Still the movie is considered a classic for good reason.

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