The family of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya has said an upcoming film inspired by her life is “grossly inaccurate” and misrepresents her work in a statement sent to journalists Tuesday afternoon.
In the statement, the family said it is “very concerned” by the film’s preliminary script, which they say contains “significant inaccuracies” and misrepresents Anna’s life, work, and family.
The film, previously titled Mother Russia, tells Anna’s story as a world-renowned journalist and human rights activist who went from being a local print journalist to braving the Chechen killing fields and exposing Russian state corruption under Vladimir Putin.
Anna refused to give up reporting on the war in Chechnya despite numerous acts of intimidation and violence, including being poisoned. She was ultimately murdered in the elevator of her block of flats, and it remains unclear who paid for the contract killing.
BAFTA-nominee Maxine Peake (The Village) plays Anna in the biopic. Additional cast includes Ciarán Hinds (Belfast), Jason Isaacs (The Death of Stalin), Harry Lawtey (Industry), Ellie Bamber (Willow), and Naomi Battrick (The Postcard Killings). BAFTA-winner James Strong (Broadchurch) directs from a screenplay by Eric Poppen.
Good Films Collective has teamed with Burbank-based Rolling Pictures on the production led by producers Miriam Segal and Mark Maxey. Executive producers are Rick Crumly and Stefanie Scott. The film has been shooting on location in Latvia, and the co-producers are Forma Pro Films. Film Bridge International is handling sales and introduced the project to buyers at the recent EFM.
The statement, published by Anna’s ex-husband Alexander Politkovsky and two children Vera and Ilya, continued to add that the family did not contribute to the production and has not given producers permission to use their names in the film.
“Although no comment can be made respecting the content of any final published version, the family is very concerned that the preliminary script as disclosed is substantially fictional and contains significant inaccuracies respecting both Anna and her family, misrepresenting their character, in certain respects to their demerit,” the statement reads.
Deadline has reached out to the producers for comment.