Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov has announced his next film: Tchaikovsky’s Wife.
The movie will follow the stormy relationship between celebrated composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky and his wife, Antonina Miliukova. A long-time admirer of Tchaikovsky’s music, Miliukova pursued the composer until the two eventually married in 1887. Yet the couple led an unhappy life, and only lived together for two and a half months before separating. Tchaikovsky — who most biographers believe was gay — blamed his wife for his unhappiness and writer’s block, while Miliukova had a mental breakdown following her humiliation.
The movie follows Serebrennikov’s previous feature films, Petrov’s Flu and Leto. He will be returning to cinema after staging the play The Black Monk, based on a short story with the same title by Anton Chekhov, in Hamburg. The director was allowed to travel to Germany despite having been fined and charged with a three-year suspended prison sentence in June 2020 for embezzlement, accusations that Serebrennikov’s supporters dismiss as politically motivated.