Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Restless “Matilda”: what is known about the situation of the film by Alexei Uchitel – TASS

for several months it does not cease the buzz surrounding the film “Matilda” directed by Alexei Uchitel. Picture about the affair of Nicholas II and the ballerina Matilda Kschessinska was attracted in November 2016 the attention of the Deputy of the state Duma Natalia Polonskaya, which has asked the Prosecutor General to check the film on the subject insults the feelings of believers. In response Alexei Uchitel sent a request to the Prosecutor Poklonskaya on the request to protect it from the “fabrications” of the Deputy of the state Duma. TASS has collected all that is known about the situation surrounding the film, which is not yet released, but has already b ecome a subject of debate.

About the film

the Movie “Matilda” tells about the relationship of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and the ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya. The film reflects the real events, including the collapse of the Imperial train at Borki, the coronation in the Dormition Cathedral, the tragedy on Khodynka field in Moscow.

the role of Nicholas II was invited by a leading artist of the Berlin theater “schaubühne” (Schaubühne) Lars Eidinger. His colleague on the stage of the Louise Tungsten played in the movie the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

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scene from the movie "Matilda" directed by Alexei Uchitel

the role of the Matilda takes the Polish actress Mikhalina Olshansky. Viewers will also see Sergey Garmash (Alexander III), Ingeborga Dapkunaite (the mother of Nicholas Maria Feodorovna), Danila Kozlovsky (guards officer Vorontsov, in love with Kschessinska).

in preparation for the shooting of the film Alexey Uchitel has for several years studied hundreds of documents related to the life of the last Russian Emperor. The shooting took place in the interiors of palaces and cathedrals of St. Petersburg and Moscow, the Mariinsky and Bolshoi theatre.

For the historical setting was made 7 thousand costumes. In the filming of episodes of coronation was attended by over 500 people, drama in the ice Palace — over 2 thousand extras. The film’s budget was not disclosed.

the author of the script — writer Alexander Terekhov, the winner of the award “national bestseller”. The picture is expected to release in cinemas in October 2017. Premiere of Alexei Uchitel plans to organize at the Mariinsky theatre.

the essence of the conflict

on 2 November 2016, it became known that the Deputy of the state Duma, eks-the public Prosecutor of the Crimea Natalia Poklonskaya sent a request to the Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika asking to check the movie “Matilda”.

She explained that to her as to the Deputy asked dozens of citizens. It is as a collective appeal from public Association “king’s cross”, and on the individual letters, the politician said. In these citizens, in particular, complained that this film offends their religious sensibilities.

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scene from the movie "Matilda"

the Director of “Matilda”, in turn, told TASS that the prosecution had already examined the materials of the film and no violations identified. As noted by the Teacher, it was not the first request and already have an official response from the Prosecutor’s office, which says that in the film all within the law. The Creator of the picture did not specify what materials were verified by the Prosecutor’s office.

Later, on 28 November, the Director expressed the view that against the “Matilda” were the activists of “fake” NGOs. “Unfortunately, these people are very aggressive, I am afraid of provocations after the release of the movie on the screen, they burst into the theatres, exhibitions, what prevents them from breaking in and to the cinema,” said the Director.

Development history

At the beginning of this year, the story around the “Matilda” received a new round. 24 January, the head of the Public Council under the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation Pavel Pozhigailo said that he handed over 20 thousand signatures protesting against the new film by Alexei Uchitel.

the Head of the Public Council expressed confidence in the need to respond to these appeals, but did not specify that it plans to take advice. While Pozhigailo suggested that most applied — Orthodox believers, who are unhappy that almost the only film of the 100th anniversary of the 1917 revolution focusing on the theme of relations of the Emperor and dancer.

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Alexei Uchitel

30 Jan Natalia Poklonskaya sent a request to the Prosecutor General with a request to conduct a re-examination of the legality of spending of budgetary funds allocated by the cinema Fund to create “Matilda”.

According to the Deputy, the script of the film should check out an expert Commission from among professional historians and representatives of the Church, as “the film the main characters are persons who are officially canonized.”

the Teacher, in turn, promised to “legal form” to respond to the claims of the Deputy of the state Duma. 2 Feb in a conversation with TASS directed “Matilda” has said it will submit to the Prosecutor General the two statements related to Natalia Polonskaya and representatives of public organizations acting with criticism of him not yet out of the picture.

In his first statement (both documents available at the disposal of TASS) addressed to the General Prosecutor Yury Chaika, Alexei Uchitel asks “to protect the team of the film, the employees of organizations rolling from further threats, other unlawful actions of individuals of an extremist orientation, as well as from publicly disseminated slanderous fabrications actually MS Poklonskaya”.

In the second statement, signed by his lawyer, the Director asks to see Orthodox organization, “the Christian state of Holy Russia” for extremism after the expressed threats against the creators of the film and the potential viewers. The Deputy of the state Duma in an interview with RT told that relates to calls the Teacher to the Prosecutor, “quite calmly”.


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Dmitry Peskov

the Director Paul Lungin, in an interview with radio station “Moscow speaking” said that he considers the controversy surrounding the movie “unhealthy hysteria”. According to him, it is unacceptable that the opinion of the uneducated people affect the processes in art. On Tuesday, more than 50 filmmakers, including Lungin, made an appeal in defense of the film by Alexei Uchitel.

on the same day the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov called on the parties to the dispute surrounding the film “Matilda” to discuss the picture after it’s ready. This Peskov assured that the anonymous threats that come to the creators of “Matilda”, is invalid.

According to him, Alexey Uchitel really is an attack organization “Christian state Holy Russia.” Press Secretary of the Russian President said that the justice Ministry this organization is not registered, so it is, in fact, talking about the threats from the anonymous extremists.


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