Anastasia (1997 Film)

anastasia

Poster of the 1997 movie, Anastasia produced by Fox Animation Studios

Anastasia is an animated drama film based on the myth or theory that Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia, survived the execution of her family. In the movie, 18 year old “Anya” is an orphan and is looking for some trace of her ancestry, when in fact, she is Anastasia. Two con-men take advantage the similarity of her appearance to the lost duchess’s and take her to France to see Empress Marie Feodorovna, Anastasia’s grandmother, who is offering a reward to whoever finds her granddaughter. At the end, everybody learns that Anya is in fact Anastasia, she is reunited with her beloved grandmother, and marries one of the con men, who turns out to be the servant that smuggled her out of the castle and saved her life many years ago.

Although Anastasia was a box-office success and was mostly based on the execution of the Romanov family, it was criticized by historians for inaccurately portraying history. For example, many women claimed to be the duchess, especially Anna Anderson, but none of the cases were taken too seriously. All the members of the Romanov family were executed. In the movie, the Romanov family members are quickly fleeing one night, but in real life they were out of the castle long before the land’s revolution. Also in the movie, Rasputin, the villain, is directly responsible for the end of the Romanovs. In reality, he was a holy man who was very close to the family at one point, but did fuel the revolution out of anger. However, it was true that Empress Feodorovna survived, but she fled to London not France. Also, there was a con man who defrauded noble families with Anastasia impostors and was close to the family, but his name was Boris, the son in law of Rasputin himself. In conclusion, Anastasia, although containing some historical elements, was more of a source of entertainment than knowledge.

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