Russian lawmaker collects 100,000 signatures against historical drama Matilda

24 July 2017

Russian State Duma deputy Natalia Poklonskaya has collected 100,000 messages and signatures from citizens and officials against Alexey Uchitel’s upcoming historical drama film Matilda.

According to Ms Poklonskaya, who posted photos of the documents on her Facebook page, the messages against Matilda were so numerous that they could only just fit in 13 boxes. The appeals from the concerned citizens focus on the film “insulting their feelings”, with 37 other State Duma deputies also taking part in the initiative. Together with the messages and signatures, Ms Poklonskaya attached information from the Accounts Chamber of Russia regarding the allocation of 280 million rubles ($468,000) to the filmmakers for the film by the government office. On Friday, she sent the appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and to the Ministry of Culture.

Matilda centres on ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska and her relationship with Nicholas II. The film is not set for release until October 2017, but has already been the subject of considerable controversy and criticism both from representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and government officials. Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov), often referred to as the personal confessor of Russian President Vladimir Putin, dubbed the movie “slander” in its portrayal of Nicholas II, while earlier this year Ms Poklonskaya implored the Prosecutor General to have the film audited.

In February, members of an independent Russian filmmakers’ union published an open letter decrying the censorship of culture in Russia, and in particular the power of Orthodox activists in this process.

Source: Afisha (in Russian)