Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev: “I am a pessimist who views the future with optimism.”

“Fortunately I do not speak a foreign language,” Andrey Zvyagintsev tells me (in Russian). “So I don’t know what they say about us or my films outside(...)

Jason Isaacs in The Death of Stalin

Russia’s culture ministry has withdrawn permission for the release of Armando Iannucci’s black comedy The Death of Stalin, after officials and top art(...)

Lars Eidinger as the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, during the filming of Russian director Alexei Uchitel’s film Matilda

There’s nothing that gets folks quite so hot under their starched collars as a good old historical costume drama. The mere sight of a bosom that’s too(...)

Journalists gather outside the Gogol Centre theatre in Moscow after it was raided by police. Photograph: Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images

Twin police raids on one of Moscow’s most respected theatres and the home of its artistic director this week have sparked fears of an official crackdo(...)

Actor Chris Pine and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs last week announce the film Leviathan from Russia as a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.   Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty

It’s a long time since a Russian film won an Oscar but Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan could be about to change that. Yet even as this dark, hard-hitti(...)