Heretical to Some in Russia, ‘Matilda’ Mostly Elicits Giggles

However, most Russians — and certainly those at the screening in Moscow on Tuesday — take little or no offense at a bit of nudity in a period costume drama.

Photo

Michalina Olszanska in the role of Matilda Kshesinskaya, the ballerina who had an affair with Czar Nicholas II. She did not attend the premiere.

Credit
Rock Films LLC, via Associated Press

“The famous scene, in which Matilda Kshesinskaya exposes her breast right on the stage of the imperial theater, brought on not trembling but some quiet laughter,” wrote Gazeta.ru, a news website. “It shows, it seems, just how far contemporary Russia is from the epoch” of the czars.

And yet, in recent years, the government of…

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