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Scandalous Movie about the Tsar



Russia's Investigative Committee says a movie theater in the city of Yekaterinburg has been the target of an apparent arson attack.The committee said a 39-year-old man was detained for "premeditatedly inflicting damage to property by arson."

The suspect apparently rammed his vehicle into the Cosmos cinema's main entrance early on September 4. A fire broke out during the incident, and the suspect was later hospitalized with burns.

The Cosmos is hosting the second edition of the Open Russian Movie Festival from September 2-8.

Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman wrote on Twitter that it was possible that the attack might be linked to the controversial film Matilda, which explores the romantic youth of Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II.

However, Culture Ministry spokeswoman Irina Kaznacheyeva said Matilda had not been scheduled to be shown in Yekaterinburg.

Cosmos administrator Alla Buchukova said the theatre had not received any threats regarding possible screenings of Matilda.

Russian Orthodox activists and hard-line nationalists vehemently oppose showing the film across Russia, claiming it besmirches the memory of Nicholas, who was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.

The film tells the story of a romance between Nicholas and teenage ballet dancer Matilda Kshesinskaya when he was an unmarried crown prince. Trailers showing romantic scenes between the young prince and Kshesinskaya have outraged conservative critics.

The affair ended in 1894, when Nicholas married the German princess who became Empress Aleksandra. Kshesinskaya later married the tsar's cousin, Grand Duke Aleksandr Vladimirovich. She died in 1971.

The tsar and his family were killed by a Bolshevik firing squad in July 1918.


SOURCE:www.rferl.org

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