The premiere of Mathilde, a movietized love story of the famous ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska and Russian emperor Nicholas II, is coming soon in Minsk.
Nicholas II was killed by Bolsheviks on July 17, 1918. In August 2000, the Romanov family was canonized as passion bearers by the Moscow Patriarchate.
In the run-up to the screening, several city cinemas have come under fire of anonymous believers.
Private cinema network Silver Screen showed a letter they received to TUT.BY.
“I am a Orthodox Christian who cares<…> Showing this film is a spiritual murder of Tsar Nicholas II. At the same time, the feelings of believers are hurt. <…> The film will have a negative educational impact on our youth, because it will be watched by young and yet unchurched people are <…>. On behalf of the Orthodox Christians, I would like to say that the filmmakers have trenched upon the sacred things – our faith, our church, our saints. This film is a spat on the face of 80% of the Belarusian people, Orthodox Christians, who honour their saints,” the letter reads.
Kinovideoprokat, a state-run film distribution agency, also got letters with similar content, so did cinemas. However, the decision to screen the movie will not be revoked, the authorities say.
Mathilde has already caused a stir among the Russian public. Natalia Poklonskaya, a Russian MP and former Prosecutor General of Crimea, is seeking to ban the film. The unregistered organization Christian State sent threats to the authors of Mathilde; Poklonskaya’s supporters set fire to cars and cinemas in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.