After screening, the film’s distribution certificate was withdrawn, effectively canceling its planned Thursday release. The Russian attendees complained that the satire contained “ideological warfare” and “extremism”. Yelena Drapeko, deputy head of the lower house of parliament’s culture committee, told to the media that she had “never seen anything so disgusting in my life”. There were many other complaints. A spokesman for Russia’s Communist party said the film was ‘revolting“.
Scene from the film
Marshal Zhukov’s daughter was one of 21 signatories on an open letter to the culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky, complaining about the film for parodying the history of the country. The film insults the Russian people, the signatories said. Armando Iannucci said he was “still confident” his movie could be shown in Russia because Russia’s general population proved to have another reaction. He noticed “they say two things: it’s funny, but it’s true.” The film, which was screened at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier this month, has been receiving overwhelming praise with a series of five-star reviews.