Author Topic: Historical Accuracy of Anastasia (1997) - Backlash  (Read 524 times)

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Offline GDSophie

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Historical Accuracy of Anastasia (1997) - Backlash
« on: March 26, 2017, 09:59:08 PM »
I'm talking about the backlash from many historians about the accuracy of Anastasia; I believe Bob described it as someone making a film which "Anne Frank moves to Orlando and opens a crocodile farm with a guy named Mort."? (A little joking prod, of course, I'm not attempting to cause an argument. Actually the image of Anne Frank's crocodile farm is amusing :p)

I've seen many posts on here criticising the accuracy of the film but is it all necessary? I understand why, of course, but is it fair that grown adults, who research the Romanovs to learn about the family, should criticise a children's film? Made for children?

I would have taken my child to see this movie when it came out and wouldn't have to worry about the violence and blood. But if they had kept it historical accurate, and opened the movie with their execution, I would have taken my child out of that cinema as quick as I could.

Russia, or majority of Russians, who know their brutal history didn't care that it wasn't historically accurate;

Gemini Films, the Russian distributor of Anastasia, stressed the fact that the story was "not history", but rather "a fairy tale set against the background of real Russian events" in the film's Russian marketing campaign so that its Russian audience would not view Anastasia "as a historical film". As a result, many Russians praised the film for its art and storytelling and saw it as "not so much a piece of history but another Western import to be consumed and enjoyed."


But historians from the West were not happy about it at all, and it contributed to the film's rating, but regardless it was a massive box office success.

Should we adults keep criticising this film for romancing Anastasia's story? How many of us first discovered the history of the Romanovs because of this film?

We know the real story of Anastasia; that she, nor Olga, Tatiana, Maria, or Alexei survived that night in July. But the impostors and the movies, TV shows and even little game cameos all make up her story that continues, even if it's not as accurate as we want it to be at least they got OTM's 1913 hairstyles correct. :D

But I honestly don't see the point in the hatred for the entire movie just because we didn't get to see their deaths, or the Bolsheviks, or even Olga and Xenia. I was kind of expecting a mention of one of them to be quite honest.

I see posts attacking the characters, the songs and even the plot of a film meant for a child which is unnecessary since it's a good film with or without the historical accuracy. And even then the animators had at least researched, much more than many documentaries about them to be honest; Tatiana being the tallest with her bobbed haircut, Olga with her hair pinned up, Maria with her noticeable long hair, Alexei's limp symbolising his haemophilia and the drawing Anastasia made in real life (meant for Nicholas) implemented into the film (switched so it was meant for Maria).

So can future posts about Anastasia or even mentioning the posts remember that you need to at least have a valid point not to like the film but don't diss it for the lack of accuracy?
'Give my love to all who remember me' - Olga Nikolaevna

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Historical Accuracy of Anastasia (1997) - Backlash
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 01:23:02 PM »
I think I understand your point, and I do "have a dog in this fight". Several, as a matter of fact!

Bob and I had our work plagiarized by the producers of the film. Specifically, Bob's artwork and my writing. I don't know if you have been the victim of theft before, but I can tell you that both Bob and I and our families were also effected. It was not pleasant, but we finally succeeded in getting our work taken down.

Anastasia Nicholievna's 1st cousin once removed, Marina Vasilovna, Mrs. Beadleston, objected to the film because it mixed fact and fiction. Had they wanted to present "a fairy tale" the producers could have made up a tsar and his daughter who had a story with no resemblance to that of Nicholas II and his youngest daughter. Instead, they deliberately muddied the waters. As a more distant cousin and an historian, I also object to this.

Bob did a beautiful website called "My name is Anastasia" to show the real girl to try to show who Anastasia really was to childen.

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Re: Historical Accuracy of Anastasia (1997) - Backlash
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2017, 05:40:51 PM »
I'm talking about the backlash from many historians about the accuracy of Anastasia; I believe Bob described it as someone making a film which "Anne Frank moves to Orlando and opens a crocodile farm with a guy named Mort."? (A little joking prod, of course, I'm not attempting to cause an argument. Actually the image of Anne Frank's crocodile farm is amusing :p)

(snip)

So can future posts about Anastasia or even mentioning the posts remember that you need to at least have a valid point not to like the film but don't diss it for the lack of accuracy?

In that New York Times article you cited, the "Anne Frank and Mort" one, Bob was further quoted as saying: <I>Mr. Atchison and other Russian-history enthusiasts acknowledge a certain trade-off here. ''If 900,000 kids go to 'Anastasia' and of that, 10,000 kids become really interested in Russian history and go on and find the truth and pursue it, it's worth it,'' he said. ''But on the other hand, we create 890,000 people in the United States who are actually going to believe this story is true.''</I>

Offline GDSophie

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Re: Historical Accuracy of Anastasia (1997) - Backlash
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2017, 08:39:14 PM »
I think I understand your point, and I do "have a dog in this fight". Several, as a matter of fact!

Bob and I had our work plagiarized by the producers of the film. Specifically, Bob's artwork and my writing. I don't know if you have been the victim of theft before, but I can tell you that both Bob and I and our families were also effected. It was not pleasant, but we finally succeeded in getting our work taken down.

Anastasia Nicholievna's 1st cousin once removed, Marina Vasilovna, Mrs. Beadleston, objected to the film because it mixed fact and fiction. Had they wanted to present "a fairy tale" the producers could have made up a tsar and his daughter who had a story with no resemblance to that of Nicholas II and his youngest daughter. Instead, they deliberately muddied the waters. As a more distant cousin and an historian, I also object to this.

Bob did a beautiful website called "My name is Anastasia" to show the real girl to try to show who Anastasia really was to childen.

I mentioned it on another thread somewhere about the exact thing; if they did make a new movie about the Romanovs or they changed Anastasia in anyway couldn't they just make up a Russian family/Tsar? I see your point and understand it completely.

Additionally, how did they plagiarise your writing and Bob's drawings? I've never heard of this before; I've certainly never saw it be mentioned on this site if you did mention it somewhere. I'm very curious now.

I'm talking about the backlash from many historians about the accuracy of Anastasia; I believe Bob described it as someone making a film which "Anne Frank moves to Orlando and opens a crocodile farm with a guy named Mort."? (A little joking prod, of course, I'm not attempting to cause an argument. Actually the image of Anne Frank's crocodile farm is amusing :p)

(snip)

So can future posts about Anastasia or even mentioning the posts remember that you need to at least have a valid point not to like the film but don't diss it for the lack of accuracy?

In that New York Times article you cited, the "Anne Frank and Mort" one, Bob was further quoted as saying: <I>Mr. Atchison and other Russian-history enthusiasts acknowledge a certain trade-off here. ''If 900,000 kids go to 'Anastasia' and of that, 10,000 kids become really interested in Russian history and go on and find the truth and pursue it, it's worth it,'' he said. ''But on the other hand, we create 890,000 people in the United States who are actually going to believe this story is true.''</I>


I found the quote someplace else, so it didn't show the whole of Bob's quote just that snippet. But the rest of the quote does back up my point, if I stayed awake enough to add more to the other side of the argument. :)
'Give my love to all who remember me' - Olga Nikolaevna

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Historical Accuracy of Anastasia (1997) - Backlash
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 03:53:07 PM »
Please understand all of this happened 20 years ago. Here is what I recall:

A mutual friend contacted me to say that parts of a biography posted to the APTM which I wrote was quoted without attribution or permission on a website promoting the upcoming release of the animated feature. Bob also became aware that some of his artwork was used on the same site, again without attribution or permission.

I initially thought all I had to do was contact Fox, as a close relative of mine was an employee there, and he could get our work taken down or at least attributed to us. He got back to me rather quickly and said he was told to back off, and that Fox was unwilling to uphold our copyright and we could just sue. Bob and I eventually found an attorney who was willing to represent us pro-bono. Our attorney got Fox to take down the copy and artwork without admitting wrong doing.

It was about getting proper respect for Anastasia and the Imperial Family for both of us. I don't know about Bob being quoted in the New York Times. I trust him for whatever he may have said to them.

At the time, I had a young child who was very confused by all the misinformation and as a parent, I object to the irresponsible mixing of fact and fiction.

I had no problem then or now with anyone discussing the film itself. I do think as the years passed that many became interested in the Imperial Family because of the cartoon. While this may be fortunate, I still feel the memory of that poor girl was not well served. She was brutally murdered by drunken uncaring men and those who mistold her story scarcely had more respect for her than the Bolsheviks did that horrible night in Yekaterinburg.