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Russian film director turns to prosecutors amid controversy surrounding his movie

February 08, 8:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The film Matilda is focused on a love affair between the future Russian Tsar Nicholas II and ballet dancer Matilda Kshesinskaya

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MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Prominent Russian film director Alexei Uchitel filed two requests with the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office as his yet-unfinished movie Matilda sparked controversy in Russia, his lawyer Konstantin Dobrynin said Wednesday.

Both requests were obtained by TASS. In the first request, addressed to Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika, Uchitel asks "to shield the movie’s crew and distributors from further threats and other unlawful actions by radically-minded individuals, as well as from madam Poklonskaya’s own libelous suppositions that are being disseminated in public."

In the second statement, signed by his lawyer, the director asks to probe the "Christian state - Holy Russia" Orthodox public organization for extremism following threats to the film crew and potential viewers.

Natalya Poklonskaya has earlier requested the prosecutors to initiate another probe into whether the state funds, allocated for the movie, have been spent lawfully.

The film Matilda is about a love affair between the future Russian Tsar Nicholas II and ballet dancer Matilda Kshesinskaya. The film sparked controversy in Russia, because Russia’s last Tsar, who was executed by the Bolsheviks along with his family, was canonized as an Orthodox saint.

Poklonskaya earlier said the movie’s screenplay should be examined by an expert commission of historians, Orthodox Church representatives and theologians because "its leading characters are individuals who have been officially canonized."

According to media reports, the "Christian state - Holy Russia" organization has sent letters to cinemas demanding the movie to be taken off-screen.

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