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Experts find controversial tsar movie trailer does not insult religious feelings

October 16, 17:01 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 16. /TASS/. Experts have found that the trailer of Matilda, a movie describing the love story of last Russian emperor Nicholas II and a ballet dancer, neither insults the believers’ feelings nor incites hatred, Russian prosecutors said on Monday.

The prosecutors conducted checks into compliance with the legislation during the production and preparations for the movie release after receiving a number of complaints, including from State Duma MP Natalya Poklonskaya.

"The checks conducted by the Russian Interior Ministry, involving psychologists and linguists, showed that the movie’s trailer does not contain any signs of inciting hatred, hostility or insulting the believers’ feelings, which are punishable by criminal responsibility," the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office said in a statement on Telegram. 

The checks did not reveal any financial violations during the allocation of subsidies or issuing a broadcasting license.

"The expert-level council at the Russian Culture Ministry and specialists of the St. Petersburg University studied the content of the film. According to the results, no circumstances were found that could impede the film’s release," the prosecutors said.

The prosecutors did not find any grounds for their meddling in the process.

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. The film director has slammed Poklonskaya’s attempts to influence the film’s broadcast as unacceptable.

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