Matilda is а 2017 Russian historical romantic drama film directed by Alexey Uchitel. It was released in cinemas on October 26, 2017. The picture tells the story about the relationship between ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya and Nicholas II.
The planned release of the film has become the subject of a public conflict that has started since November 2016. Elements of the conflict include fierce controversy, attempts to ban the film, threats to film distributors and arson.
The premiere of the film took place on October 23, 2017 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
The film tells the story of the romantic relationship between the heir to the Russian throne, Nikolay Romanov, and the ballerina of the Imperial Theater, Matilda Kshesinskaya, from the time the 22-year-old crown prince and 18-year-old dancer in 1890 and until the coronation of Nikolay and his wife Aleksandra Fedorovna in 1896.
In 2016 when the official trailer of the film which contained in particular erotic love scenes was released, representatives of the public movement “King’s Cross” found in the upcoming film a “distortion of historical events”, and an “anti-Russian and anti-religious provocation in the field of culture”. One cinema chain pulled out of showing the film after a group of self-described Orthodox militants threatened the film’s director and cinemas preparing to screen it.
After a request to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation State from the Duma deputy Natalia Poklonskaya known for her veneration of Nicholas II, the film’s material was audited and no violations were found. Chairman of the Duma committee on culture, film director Stanislav Govoruhin criticized the idea of checking the film, he expressed confidence that such scandalous initiatives should be “nipped right in the bud.” In the Kremlin, Poklonskaya’s request caused confusion and an uncertain delayed response. The Ministry of Culture of Russia said that the question of issuing certificates for rental of the film will be decided upon the completion of work on the picture. –