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"The first revolution,
and the counter-revolutionary
period which followed it (1907-1914)
laid bare the true nature
of the czarist monarchy,
pushed it to its limits,
and exposed the rottenness,
the corruption,
the cynicism and the debauchery
among the Czar's followers,
with the monstrous Rasputin
leading the pack..."
V.I. Lenin
"Letters from Exile"
Second Artists' Association
The Russian Empire is a vast
straddling Europe and Asia.
A land of 170 million inhabitants,
the largest monarchy in the world.
An agricultural country, with
industry only moderately developed.
A country of great poets, writers,
thinkers, and revolutionaries.
A country where two-thirds of
the population is illiterate.
A country of enormous
social contrasts,
where bureaucracy and censorship
are omnipresent,
where the authorities
stifle human rights.
The First World War has revealed
the patent bankruptcy
of government
and accentuated its weaknesses
and internal contradictions.
Crushing military defeats have
caused the loss of Poland,
Lithuania, parts of Latvia
and Byelorussia.
The army was almost out of
A severe fuel shortage
paralyzed transport.
All attempts to solve
the food crisis
came to nothing.
The black market flourished.
Speculation, corruption,
wasting of public funds
were rampant.
The foreign debt climbed
to 51 billion gold rubles.
Russia owed money
to France, England,
the United States, Belgium,
and many other countries.
Russia's economic independence
was at stake
and her political independence
seriously compromised.
The situation was critical.
Russia was about to experience
an upheaval that would affect
not only her history,
but that of the entire world.
Written by Semyon LUNGIN
and Ilya NUSINOV
Directed by Elem KLIMOV
Director of Photography
Production Designers: Shavkat
Music by Alfred SCHNITTKE
Sound by Boris VENGEROVSKY
Conductor Eri KLAS
Velta LINE
Russia. 1916
I'm ready to take any punishment
if Your Majesty
should be displeased with me.
I trust my painting
won't inhibit your ideas.
If I'm overstepping my position,
you just have to say one word,
and I shall resign my post
as President of the Duma.
What's this all about,
Mikhail Vladimirovich?
The best of Mother Russia's sons,
elected deputies of the Duma,
representing all of the Guberniyas...
Put it simply, if you please.
Your Majesty, it is for your own
We're on the eve of the events,
the result of which we can't foresee.
What the government, and you
personally, are doing
is enraging the citizens to such
an extent, that anything is possible.
The Lord will arrange it all.
Please allow me to doubt that.
And another thing. You've got
to get rid of him.
Of whom?
In the name of the patriots who pray
for the well-being of the crown,
I beg you to chase him out.
The influence he has gained
over your august family...
...over affairs of state...
- Now wait...
...over the clergy...
You may tell those patriots
that the private life of my family
is my own concern.
I'm afraid that's where you're
wrong, Your Majesty.
These masterpieces are being
exhibited in the provinces, too,
and to the army!
My people love me.
Russia's reigning House
of Romanov.
The Romanov aristocratic family
dates back to the 13th century,
when a certain Lithuanian
nobleman, Glanda Kambilla,
after taking upon baptism
the name of Ivan,
came to Russia.
His son, Andrei Kobyla,
had five sons of his own:
Semyon Zherebets, Alexander
Yolka, Vassily Ivantai,
Gavrila Gavsha and Fyodor Koshka,
from whom were to come
Russia's 17 ruling families.
The first Russian czar
of the Romanov dynasty
was Mikhail Fyodorovich,
who came to the throne in 1613.
The seventeenth and last Romanov
czar was Nicholas II.
He was born

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