Russia's Anti-gay Laws May Affect Film About Tchaikovsky

Yuri Arabov, a screenwriter working on a Russian biopic of Tchaikovsky, has insisted that a recently enacted law barring gay propaganda had no bearing on his decision to remove any reference to Tchaikovsky's sexual orientation from the movie. It is far from a fact that Tchaikovsky was a homosexual, Arabov told the Russian state newspaper Izvestia. Only philistines think this, he said. What philistines beieve should not be shown in films. But some critics are contending that removal of any reference to the composer's sexuality was necessary in order for the film to receive necessary state financing and that it flies in the face of much documentation, including Tchaikovsky's own writings, to the contrary. Russian-born musicologist Marina Frolova-Walker, who is director of studies in music at Cambridge University, has written that Tchaikovsky lived the life of a discreet homosexual forming a long-asting relationship with his servant Alyosha Sofronov, while from time to time he had temporary relationships with men of his own social class, like the violinist Josef Kotek.


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