Nicholas II: Russian history re-written? (Sept 2017)

Nicholas II: Russian history re-written? (Sept 2017)

There is controversy in Russia over a new film called 'Matilda' which portrays the last Tsar of Russia - Nicholas II - having an affair with a ballerina.

Read the full controversy on the BBC website here:

This segment from the BBC World Service also has an interesting perspective on this controversy.


1. What are the arguments being put forward for banning the film Matilda?

2. Owen Matthews in the BBC World Service broadcast accuses this film of ‘wilful ignorance of history’.

Does this matter do you think in films based on historical events or characters? Can you think of any other historical movies that you have watched that could also be found to have purposely changed history?

3. According to Owen Matthews how has Putin ‘used history’? What other leaders do you know of either from history or from the present who are using history for their own purposes?

4. The broadcast ends with the claim: ‘What makes the Matilda argument chilling rather than silly is that the argument is not about Russia’s past, it's about the future.’

What do you think Owen Matthews means by this?

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