Last of the Czars is a riveting three-part documentary about the ill-fated reign of Nicholas II. It was made by a British team for the US Discovery Channel and has never been broadcast on British television. It presents an extraordinary portrait of both the personalities of the imperial family and the times they lived through, ending with their execution by firing squad in the remote Ipatiev House in Siberia in July, 1918. The films employ a combination of sumptuously shot sequences of of Imperial palaces as well as contemporary archive footage and photographs and documents from the Imperial family's own collections. With a range of expert historians adding their interpretations and startling eye-witness accounts from people whose lives were brushed by the events taking place in Russia at that time, this is a superb evocation of both the personal story of Nicky and Alix, and their children, as well as the wider historical cataclysm that turned Russia upside down in the wake of world war and revolution.
Director of Film 2 and Associate Director: Teresa Cherfas
Series Producer: Mark Anderson
Associate producer: Helen Molchanoff
Episode 1 - Nicky and Alix
Episode 2 - The Shadow of Rasputin
Episode 3 - Death of the Dynasty
Teresa Cherfas is a documentary film maker who specialises in Russian and Soviet history films. She was series producer and on-screen interpreter for the five-part BBC television series “Russia: a Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby”, and has been the producer on films such as “The Crimean War” and “Babitsky’s War” (for Channel 4), as well as the BBC’s four part series “Messengers from Moscow”. More recently she has produced several documentaries for BBC4’s Storyville, which include “The Spy Who Went Into the Cold”, “Masterspy of Moscow: George Blake” and “Toffs, Queers and Traitors: the Extraordinary Life of Guy Burgess”.
Helen Molchanoff graduated with joint honours in Russian and French from St Andrews University. Her father was born in Petrograd during the Russian Civil War and Helen has been filming in Russia since 1987. She has worked on programmes ranging from a series about Glasnost’ and the Arts, another celebrating the Milennium of the Russian Orthodox Church, the BBC’s landmark ”The Second Russian Revolution”; “Ivanov Goes to Moscow” for Channel 4; “Return to Wonderland” for the BBC and “The Hermitage” (for the London Hermitage at Somerset House). Helen has also worked in the theatre as assistant director to Robert Sturua on “The Three Sisters” in her translation and again with Robert Sturua on “Hamlet” with Alan Rickman. Her translation of “The Seagull” has been performed at the National Theatre, the RSC and the Chichester Festival Theatre. In 2000 she moved to Scotland and currently directs The Fingask Follies, from her Perthshire home – their 24th season opens in April.