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Russia’s top cinema chain says controversial tsar film will return to its screens

October 13, 12:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The film, which depicts a romance between Nicholas II and ballerina Matilda Kschessinska before his marriage and coronation, is set for release on October 26

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© Kirill Kukhmar/TASS

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russia’s largest cinema chain, Formula Kino and Cinema Park, has decided to return to its schedule Matilda, a movie describing the love story of last Russian emperor Nicholas II and a ballet dancer, the press service said on Friday.

Last month, the cinema network announced plans to withdraw the screening of Matilda over security concerns.

"Active efforts by the law enforcement agencies and the measures taken by them to solve the tense situation around Alexei Uchitel’s Matilda film allowed the leadership of the integrated chain, Cinema Park and Formula Kino, to take a decision on returning the movie to the cinemas’ schedule," the press service said.

The cinema chain will screen the movie on its wide release date in Russia.

The film by Alexei Uchitel, which depicts a romance between Nicholas II and ballerina Matilda Kschessinska before his marriage and coronation, is set for release on October 26.

Nicholas II and his family were executed after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.

A number of activists including MP Natalia Poklonskaya, Crimea’s former prosecutor, have launched a campaign against the film calling for its release to be cancelled and claiming that it will insult the feelings of Orthodox believers. A group calling itself "Christian State, Holy Russia" sent nearly a thousand letters with threats to movie theater owners across Russia, urging them to drop the screening of Matilda.

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