What We Are Watching Today: The Death of Stalin 

Updated 03 May 2018

What We Are Watching Today: The Death of Stalin 

  • Armando Iannucci's film extracts a wickedly dark humor from one of the darkest periods of the 20th century
  • “The Death of Stalin” is not easy to watch, but the star cast are scarily convincing as the mad power struggle at the top of one of history’s most destructive regimes unfolds

What happens in a brutal totalitarian dictatorship when the person who was at the pinnacle of power is suddenly no more? That’s the question tackled by this 2017 Armando Iannucci film that extracts a wickedly dark humor from one of the darkest periods of the 20th century.

“The Death of Stalin” continues the director’s trademark acerbic wit and foul-mouthed, quick-fire dialogue, which was made famous in the British TV comedy satirizing modern government, “The Thick of It.”

The drama charts the scrabbling for survival of the Soviet Union’s most powerful figures, who had survived the dictator’s purges of Communist Party members. They desperately jostle for position while still professing loyalty to their dead leader, setting up farcical set pieces, including an excruciating autopsy scene. 

All the while, preparations for Stalin’s funeral are under way as the leadership must not flinch in demonstrating reverence for their fallen leader to the masses. 

“The Death of Stalin” is not easy to watch, but the star cast, including Michael Palin as Molotov and Steve Buscemi as Khrushchev, are scarily convincing as the mad power struggle at the top of one of history’s most destructive regimes unfolds.

The film also offers a salutary lesson on the checks and balances of power at a time when authoritarianism is again on the rise.


Instagram flooded with well wishes as influencer Leena Kaziz hospitalized

Updated 23 September 2020

Instagram flooded with well wishes as influencer Leena Kaziz hospitalized

DUBAI: This week, social media feeds were flooded with well-wishes for Dubai-based fashion influencer Leena Kaziz, who was hospitalized from what appears to be a severe allergic reaction. The Syrian influencer posted a picture of herself with swollen eyes and hooked up to an IV at the hospital on Instagram this week, prompting regional influencers and bloggers to comment and wish her a speedy recovery. 

“Hbb sending you lots of love and well wishes, you got this! (sic)” wrote Fozaza in the comment section. Lebanese television host and entrepreneur Joelle Mardinian also took to the comments to share her well wishes. “Omg get well soon,” she wrote alongside the praying hands emoji. 

“Thank you to each and everyone who messaged and/or called,” wrote Kaziz on Instagram. “Thank you for your kindness and prayers. It means the world to me. I am trying to stay positive. Hopefully getting better and will recover soon,” she said.

Various media outlets are reporting that Kaziz allegedly suffered an allergic reaction from a lash-lifting procedure she had undergone. The influencer hasn’t confirmed the allegations, and wrote that she will soon share the details of what happened.

“I promise I will share the details of what happened to me soon,” she said. “Everyone deserves to know. I love you my lovelies.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Since I was young I used to sneak into my mom’s dressing room to play with her makeup and jewelry, I grew up obsessed with finding ways to make myself prettier. I knew I was enough just the way I was but I still got carried away with what is only normal in our world.. being skinny, having shiny long hair, long sexy lashes, fuller lips, better under eyes, and so on. I knew I was enough but I still got carried away. With time I started measuring how precious my body was with calories and appeal. Instead of how well it’s been keeping me alive! I almost forgot the true purpose of my eyes.. my sight! As if They only existed for me to make them prettier! I forgot how blessed I am to have all of my senses! What happened to me was a wakeup call! We are often too obsessed with becoming prettier and more appealing that we forget to really protect ourselves from our own self. [I am thankful for my own self just the way I was created. My self.. My body.. Working day and night to keep me alive. I will never allow myself to forget that.] ‎من وقت ما كنت صغيرة كنت أتسلل لغرفة ملابس أمي لإلعب بمكياجها ومجوهراتها ، كبرت وانا مهووسة بإيجاد طرق لخلي حالي أجمل. كنت بعرف أني انا كافيًا تمامًا متل ما انا ، بس ضليت متاخدة بيلي صار طبيعي بعالمنا .. كون نحيفة ، وشعري طويل لامع ، رموشي طويلة ،شفافي كبيرة ، وتحت العينين أفضل ، وكتير شغلات غير. كنت بعرف أنني حلوة متل ما انا بس ضليت متاخدة. ‎مع مرور الوقت بدأت قياس مدى قيمة جسمي بالالسعرات الحرارية والجاذبية. بدل ما قدر جسمي على قدرتو انو يخليني عايشة! ‎عشوي كنت بنسى الهدف الحقيقي من عيني .. ويلي هوة بصري! كأنو عيوني نوجدو بس لخليون أجمل! نسيت كم أنا محظوظة أنو عندي كل حواسي! ‎يلي صار معي هالفترة فيقني و فتحلي عيوني عالحقيقة! غالبًا ما منكون مهووسين أنو نصير أجمل وأكثر جاذبية لدرجة أنو مننسى حماية أنفسنا من أنفسنا. ‎[أنا ليوم ممتن لنفسي بالطريقة التي خلقت فيها. ذاتي .. جسدي .. يلي بيشتغل ليل نهار ليخليني عايشة. ما حإسمح لنفسي أنو أنسى هاد الشي أبدًا.]

A post shared by Leena Kaziz | لينا قزيز (@leenakaziz) on

On Wednesday, she shared a cryptic post with her 324,000 Instagram followers, saying that what happened to her “was a wakeup call.”

“We are often too obsessed with becoming prettier and more appealing that we forget to really protect ourselves from our own self,” she said in a lengthy text. “I am thankful for my own self just the way I was created. My self... my body... Working day and night to keep me alive. I will never allow myself to forget that.”

In addition to thoughtful comments and well wishes, Kaziz also received plenty of flowers from Dubai’s it-girls, including from Libyan Maram Zbaeda, who sent the influencer a colorful bouquet.