Ukraine: Controversial film Mathilde banned

Director Alexei Uchitel’s recently-released film “Mathilde” about the relationship between St. Petersburg ballerina Mathilde Kschessinskaya and then-Tsarevich Nicholas II has been banned in Ukraine, reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The ban was reported by a member of the Expert Council of the State Committee for Cinematography Dimitry Kapranov. “We have not allowed the showing of Mathilde according to formal criteria,” noted Kapranov. He explained that a musician on the so-called “black list” was involved in the making of the film.

Kapranov went on to note that viewers might object to such reasoning, and responded saying, “Are you willing to buy a watermelon at the market that has nitrates? Sure, there’s vitamins, but there’s also nitrates. These people on the ‘black list’ are nitrates. If they exist, then the product is considered to be poisonous.”

The film caused a scandal in Russia leading up to its release due to its irreverently unhistorical treatment of the person of the Royal Martyr Tsar Nicholas II. Several hierarchs have condemned the film as a “vulgarity,” including Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyeev) and Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov). His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has also spoken out against it. Others had called for the film to be banned. The Athonite brotherhood of St. Panteleimon’s Monastery has also spoken out against the film, as has Abbot Ephraim of Vatopaidi Monastery. The movement against the film was championed by State Deputy Natalia Poklonskaya.

Although the film was approved for showing in Russia, various regions and theaters throughout the country made the decision not to show it.

Interfax-Religion also reports that the book My Mathilde: The Love Letters and Diaries of Nicholas II by Boris Sokolov was among the 25 Russian publications that were banned by the Ukrainian State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting on January 10. The list also includes the book Orthodoxy: An Honest Conversation by Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin. (Quelle:, 18. Januar 2018)