Published on 5th November 2018 by

Russian composer Tchaikovsky was a national hero – and also homosexual. The film charts his life story as a vlog. [Online until: 05.12.2018]

Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) is a national hero to many Russians. But with homophobia still rife in Russia, the fact that he was homosexual is often glossed over. This documentary charts his life in the form of a video diary, based on the composer’s own writings – a life poised between forbidden passions and respectability.

Tchaikovsky sought to hide his homosexuality, and despite fleeting affairs with men, attempted to lead the life of a respectable married man. The marriage, however, was a disaster for both him and his wife. His letters and diary entries attest to a troubled soul. Their content is worked into the film to underscore that his fate was one that still resonates today. Similarly, his music has a modernity to it that is often overlooked. Shot as though through Tchaikovsky’s own eyes, this documentary is set in present-day Berlin. ‘The Tchaikovsky File’ explores the creative process and looks at what it means to be ‘different’. It’s the story of one man preoccupied with the question: who am I?

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