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Stalinist regime chronicler Alexei German dies

The Associated Press, Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 11:42pm (PST)

MOSCOW (AP) — Alexei German, a Russian film director best known for his works chronicling the Stalinist era in the Soviet Union, died in Moscow on Thursday. He was 74.

His son, Alexei German Jr., said in a blog post Thursday that the filmmaker died of heart failure at a hospital in St. Petersburg.

German came to prominence internationally for his 1983 production "My Friend Ivan Lapshin" about a police investigator battling a criminal gang. Authorities blocked the film's release for two years because of its realistic depiction of Soviet life in the wake of the Stalinist terror of the late 1930s.

"Khrustalyov, My Car," a grotesque narrative centered on Stalin's final days, had a troubled production and received a hostile reception at its Cannes premiere in 1998, but later attained cult status.

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