News 17 february — 12:50

Daghestani Muftis Join Move Against Film About Tsar's Romance With Ballerina

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 The Mufti's Office in Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan has joined a move initiated by a lawmaker and Russian Orthodox activists to prevent a romantic film about Tsar Nicholas II from being screened in Russia, RFE/RL reports.

The Mufti's Office told RFE/RL on February 15 that it officially supports efforts by Russian State Duma deputy Natalya Poklonskaya to investigate the unreleased film, Matilda, by director Aleksei Uchitel.

Poklonskaya, who was the Kremlin-appointed prosecutor-general in Crimea from the time Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory in March 2014 until September, has been trying to ban the film, saying that it portrays Nicholas -- a canonized Russian Orthodox saint -- as a sinner.

The movie details Nicholas's relationship with Russian ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya when he was an unmarried prince.

She also charges that Uchitel wrongly portrays Russia as a country full of "drunkards, fornicators, and gallows."

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