Mathilde, aka Matilda, currently showing on Amazon Prime under the title Mathilde: The Affair to Break an Empire, is a 2017 Russian film that purports to tell the story of future Tsar Nicholas II’s premarital relationship with ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya. There was a whole lot of controversy when this came out in Russia, because it shows the now-venerated tsar (officially: he’s now Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer in the Russian Orthodox Church) getting up to some serious premarital sexytimes. But you should watch it if for no other reason than wow, they did a (mostly) amazing job showing 1890s couture!
Okay, so the film takes massive liberties with historical accuracy. Basically it shows Mathilde as Nicholas’s One True Love, and puts the two into a love triangle with Alix (the future Empress Alexandra). While it’s true Nicholas and Mathilde had a relationship, it seems to have ended nicely as Nicholas got engaged (read more at The History Press). And according to Nicholas’s own diaries, he was super smitten with Alix.
Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining film, even if the ending rang hollow, and there are some semi-unnecessary plot threads, because THE COSTUMES, PEOPLE…
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