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Controversial film Matilda to be made into television series

Controversial film Matilda to be made into television series
The character Matilda Kshesinskaya in the film is played by actress Michalina Olszańską. Image: matildafilm / VK

10 November 2017

A film about a love affair between Russia’s last tsar and a ballet dancer that has generated violent protests in Russia will be spun-off into a 4-part series.

The director of Matilda, Alexei Uchitel, told journalists on Thursday that the series will include footage not included in the film and will last for more than three hours in total, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

Matilda tells the story of the relationship between a young Nicholas II and Matilda Kshesinskaya, one of the most famous ballerinas of the early 20th century.

Critics say that the film’s depiction of the affair is distorted and vulgar. Nicholas II was made a saint by the Orthodox Church in 2000, and religious protesters have been particularly vocal in their denunciations.

Two cars were set on fire in September outside the office of Uchitel’s attorney and signs reading “burn for Matilda” were reportedly found near the scene. Assailants have also tried to set fire to Uchitel’s film studio and Uchitel has received death threats. Foreign actors in the film declined to attend the premiere of the film in Russia last month because of safety fears.