It is a truism that movie sci-fi and historical fiction are distorting mirrors that protect us from our current realities, and allow us a more unthreatening way of thinking about them. Through these genres, our worst fears are distanced into a past now extinct, or projected into a future that need not ever be. Better yet, movies can give the past and/or the future a satiric twist. More distance. Less threat. Much less pain. You can’t get a better deflector for these dark days in the United States than a serio-comic farce set in the now defunct Soviet Union in 1953, as the mammoth country was given an opportunity to emerge from the rigid structure of Stalin’s tyranny. The Death of Stalin (2017) directed by political satirist Armando Ianucci is such film, a comic tour de force about the anarchy hidden within despotism. Reducing giants from Communist history to petty, bumbling, and/or bombastic fools, and the tragedies that were daily occurrences in the Soviet Union to background noise, it scoops up its audience to tread dexterously on a high wire above our current, raging anxieties about the toxic cult of personality poisoning the United States today. Continue reading on EYE ON MEDIA.
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