Lawyer Ernest Mezak from Syktyvkar sued the Ministry of Culture of Russia for revoke of the distribution certificate of the film "The Death of Stalin." On February 2, he took the claim to the Syktyvkar City Court.
The second plaintiff was Roman Galasun from Moscow. On January 25, 2018, he bought five tickets for a movie session at the Moscow Pioneer Cinema on January 29th. However, he could not watch the movie because it was banned in Russia.
In the claim, the applicants refer to Article 13 of the Russian Constitution ("The Russian Federation recognizes ideological diversity"), Article 29 ("Everyone has the right to freely seek, receive, transmit, produce, disseminate information by any lawful means"), Article 44 ("Everyone has the right to participate in cultural life and the use of cultural institutions, access to cultural values").
Ernest Mezak stressed that the basis for revoking the distribution certificate was the violation of subparagraph "e" of paragraph 20 of the "Rules of issue, refusal to issue and revoke the distribution certificate for the film." It states that the grounds for revoke may be violations "in public demonstration of the film," which contains information prohibited for distribution in Russia.
"As follows from the literal content of the quoted rule of lawmaking, it can be adopted only after the public demonstration of the film. However, the appealed decision of the respondent body was taken on January 23, 2018, before the public demonstration of the film," the statement of claim says.
Galasun and Mezak stressed in the lawsuit that "it's impossible to make a film that everyone will like". "There will always be someone who decides that the light New Year comedy "Yolki novye" is russophobic, as it cheerfully portray the Russians as psychopaths and morons," the applicants quoted one of the articles about the film.
The plaintiffs asked to recognize the revoke of the distribution certificate as illegal.
The Ministry of Culture of Russia revoked the distribution certificate of the film "The Death of Stalin" directed by Armando Iannucci on January 23 under the pretext that it contained materials banned for distribution in the country. the Ministry of Finance did not specify it. The premiere of the movie was scheduled for January 25.