I haven’t been seeing very many current movies, and this even includes The Death of Stalin.  But I did read the graphic novel, The Death of Stalin (2017), by writer Fabien Nura and artist Thierry Robin—it “inspired” the making of the movie—and I enjoyed it.  The pictures are stark and tough-minded, the writing is magnetic.

The monstrous Stalin dies early on.  The monstrous Lavrentiy Beria is first shown raping a hapless girl (for a rapist he was), and it isn’t long before we see just how contemptuous of Stalin the barbarous official is.  After the big guy dies, Beria schemes.  Depicted here is a cold hell, a bleak, loveless, secular domain where violence can be employed at any time and self-seeking dominates.  When criminals are in power is the book’s theme, and it’s virtually relevant for the situation in socialist Venezuela when Madura blocks foreign aid from reaching his distressed people.  I repeat:  socialist Venezuela.