Gérard Depardieu… “Je suis… Raspoutine”…

Gérard Depardieu

Je suis

Raspoutine“…

I have forever… been mesmerised and fascinated… but also repulsed… by Rasputin… the Russian psychic and faith healer

The so-called… “Black or Mad Monk“…

Watching Gérard DepardieuincarnateFather Grigori” in the film “Raspoutine“… directed by Josée Dayan… on the 25th of December… “sur France 3“…

I came to appreciate… the mystery of this enigmatic figure… who seemed to have helped discredit the Tsarist government… which led to the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin… was born on January 22, 1869, in Pokrovskoye, Siberia, Russian Empiredied aged forty seven on the 29th of December 1916 in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire.

Rasputin… was a Russian Orthodox Christian and mystic… who was believed to have severely influenced the Russian Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova… (well depicted by Fanny Ardant in the film)… who was of German descent, and their only son Alexei Nikolaevich.

Born a peasantGrigori was since childhoodportrayed as possessing supernatural powers.

As an eighteen year old he spent three months in the Verkhoturye MonasteryHis vision of the Virgin Marylead him to a life of a religious mystic.

Makariya holy man… had a huge influence over the young Rasputin… whom he modelled himself after.  Leaving his small village, he became a “strannik” or pilgrim… later travelling to Greece and Jerusalem.

Arriving in Saint Petersburg in 1903… Rasputin gained a reputation as a “starets” or holy man, who had incredible healing and prophetic powersappearing to be a healer to the young Tsarevich Alexei‘s illness… who was a haemophiliac… gaining the Tsar and Tsaritsa‘s complete trust, which made them refer to him as “our friend” and a “holy man“.

Rasputin… also had a major personal and political influence on the Tsaritsa Alexandra, who considered him a “man of God“… (who spoke to her through him)… and a religious prophet.

A controversial figure… he became involved in a tug of war between the monarchists, the anti-monarchistsrevolutionary as well as other political forces… whereby he was subjected to accusations of an unrestricted sexual life and to an “undue political domination over the royal family“.

In 1903, Saint Petersburg’s aristocracy were obsessed with the occult

Although fascinated by the psychicthe elite did not exactly welcome Rasputinnor did he fit in with the royal family… “en plus”… he and the Orthodox Churchwere not in a loving relationship either… often accusing him of immoral… or even… evil practices.

Grigori Rasputin’s influence… over the royal family… worked against himenabling the nobles in influential positions around the Tsar… to clamour for his removal from the Tsar’s court, having decided that his influence over the Tsaritsa… was a threat to the empire.

In 1916 a group of noblesled by Prince Felix Yusupov… the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich… and the right-wing politician Vladimir Purishkevichlured Rasputin to his death… by poisoning and shooting him several times in the back… with a revolver…

Still refusing to die… they wrapped him in a carpet and threw him in the icy Neva River.

It has to be noted that his daughter… Maria Rasputin (Matryona Rasputina)… who emigrated to France, before settling in the US… mentioned in her memoirs… that all negative slander about her father were… misinterpretations of facts by his enemies… completely painting him as a “saintly figure“.

The film… “Raspoutine“… was fascinating to watch

It portrayed… a true and fabulous ambience… of Tsarist Russia.

The scenery… was breathtaking

A huge admirer of DepardieuI thought the real Rasputin… was by far more charismaticmesmeric… and enigmatic.

A fascination

Depardieualthough a superb actor… did not seem to depict this hauntingly dark figureauthentically enough

Unfortunately… sadly… his weight worked against him… nor did he possess… the mesmeric Rasputin eyes“… which made him such a loved… but also feared legend of Russian history.

HoweverGérard Depardieu did comment… “typiquement“… when asked if he needed specialmaquillageto become Rasputin… he vehemently answered…

“Rien… J’avais déjà tout… On me démaquillait pour Raspoutine”…

“Je suis Raspoutine”…

I rest my case.

a.

 

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