Playing Stalin for laughs

Agnes Frimston admires a satirical take on the death of a despot

The World Today Updated 23 November 2020 Published 28 September 2017 2 minute READ

Agnes Frimston

Deputy Editor, The World Today


Is it possible to make a black comedy out of Stalin’s death? This is the task director Armando Iannucci has set himself in his new film covering the weeks after the dictator’s demise in 1953, and the struggle for power that followed. Adapted from the French graphic novel series by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, The Death of Stalin is absurdist political drama against the backdrop of the very real threat of death.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.