Ukraine and France to film historical drama about French princess from Kyivan Rus

"Slovian Anne, the second wife of King Henry I." A portrait of Anne of Kyiv based on the murals of the monastery of St. Invent in Sanlis 

Culture

The Ukrainian company Kinorob and the French Dadafilms have announced that they will film a historical drama about Anna of Kyiv, the French queen from Kyivan Rus, film.ua wrote.

They plan to shoot the film during the summer-fall of 2018 in France and Ukraine. The film is expected to hit the big screen in 2019. Now, the creative team is finishing writing the scenario.

Yves Angelo, a French filmmaker who was awarded the César Award for Best Cinematography three times, will be the feature’s director, and its operator will be Ukraine’s Serhiy Mykhalchuk.

anne de kiev

The plot of the film is based on the historical novel by the French writer Jacqueline Dauxois “Anna of Kiev, Queen of France.” This is a story about the Kyivan princess Anna, the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, who became the queen of France. After the marriage between King Henry and Anna, France experiences a time of flourishing. It is Anna that inspires the king to do right and great deeds. With the help of weapons and diplomacy, Henry and Anna defeat France’s enemies, expand their lands, and bring peace to them.

The project’s producer Yehor Olesov told that the film will be implemented under the framework of a joint production agreement between Ukraine and France and that their main goal is to create a high-quality historical film for a wide audience, which is understandable to the viewer both in Ukraine, France, and other countries.

“Also, the film will demonstrate to the general public the exceptional role played by the dynasty of Yaroslav the Wise in the formation of the statehood of France. The history of Princess Anna Yaroslavna can be a turning point for the revision of the geopolitical role of Ukraine over the past 1000 years, which is especially important in the conditions of Ukraine’s current return to Europe and struggle for its identity,” he told.

The dynastic connections of the Kyivan Rus at Prince Yaroslav’s time. Image: kanalukraina.tv

“The historical figure of Anna Yaroslavna has tremendous energy, and today, like 1000 years ago, attracts attention and often becomes the subject of historical disputes in modern Europe. Our film is designed to give an exhaustive answer about the origin of the Kyivan princess who became the queen of France,” comments Oksana Melnychuk, the producer of the project.

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The figure of Anna of Kyiv was recently in the epicenter of an international scandal, when Russian President Vladimir Putin appropriated her nationality during a joint press conference with French president Emmanuel on 29 May 2017 in Versailles. Critics have said that such rewriting of history is the first step to real aggression by bringing archaic and “sacral” metaphors to politics which are then used by Russian and pro-Russian separatists to justify the Russian-provoked war in eastern Ukraine.

Anna of Kyiv was the youngest daughter of Kyivan Rus Prince Yaroslav the Wise, who ascended to the French throne as the wife of King Henry I Capet in 1051. At that time, the medieval kingdom of Kyivan Rus had many dynastic connections to other European states.

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