Russia bans ‘insulting’ satirical movie about Stalin’s death

In this file photo, An artist holds a portrait of former Soviet leader Josef Stalin as communist party supporters marking the anniversary of Stalin's birth outside the GUM, State Department store decorated with New Year and Christmas illumination in Moscow's Red Square, Russia. Russia's Culture Ministry on Jan. 23, 2018 has banned the satirical film about Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's death two days before its scheduled release. (AP)
Updated 24 January 2018

Russia bans ‘insulting’ satirical movie about Stalin’s death

MOSCOW: Russia has banned “Death of Stalin,” a dark, satirical movie from British director Armando Iannucci, saying many Russians would find it an insulting mockery of the country’s Soviet past.
The film, which focuses on back-stabbing and in-fighting among the Soviet leader’s closest allies as they vie for power immediately after his 1953 death, had been privately viewed by culture ministry officials and advisers.
Vladimir Medinsky, the culture minister, said on Tuesday his ministry had received a number of complaints after the showing which had prompted him to withdraw its general release license.
“Many people of the older generation, and not only, will regard it as an insulting mockery of all the Soviet past, of the country that defeated fascism and of ordinary people, and what’s even worse, even of the victims of Stalinism,” Medinsky said in a statement.
Iannucci, the film’s director, said he had not lost hope the Russian authorities would perform a U-turn.
“All the Russians we’ve shown the film to so far, including Russian journalists, have said how much they enjoyed and appreciated the film,” he said. “They say two things: it’s funny, but it’s true. I’m still confident we can get it in cinemas.”


Fans praise Syrian vlogger as he cooks kabsa for Taal victims in the Philippines

Updated 19 January 2020

Fans praise Syrian vlogger as he cooks kabsa for Taal victims in the Philippines

  • He drove around the province to give away packed meals, including a 1000 chicken wings and Arabic dish kabsa
  • Around 80,000 people have been displaced since the eruption covered nearby towns with thick charcoal-like ash

DUBAI: A Syrian vlogger has visited communities in the Philippines who were affected by the recent volcanic eruption, giving out care packages and packed meals.

Philippines-based Basel Manadil, also known online as the “The Hungry Syrian Wanderer,” posted a video on YouTube of his recent trip to rescue centers around Taal Volcano, which erupted last week.

“When I first saw the news about Taal eruption, I immediately thought of the people who will be affected and will be needing immediate help,” the social media personality said on his YouTube account that has over 1.5 million subscribers.

Manadil, who has been living the Philippines for more than five years, distributed boxes of donations that included medical supplies.

Watch the vlog here:

He drove around the province to give away packed meals, including a 1000 chicken wings and Arabic dish kabsa, which he said he prepared for more than 10 hours.

“I never cooked before I left Syria, so my mom would be so proud once she sees this,” Manadil wrote on Facebook.

The Philippines remained on high alert days after the devastating eruption of the Taal Volcano, a famous tourist spot just 50 kilometers north of the capital Manila.

Around 80,000 people have been displaced since the eruption covered nearby towns with thick charcoal-like ash.