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A Woman Loved


Filming the life of Catherine the Great in the last dying days of the Soviet empire means keeping an eye on the censors, but there are opportunities nonetheless for hints of dissidence.

When Oleg Erdman is dropped from the film he initially scripted – his name summarily excised from the credits – he is cast adrift in a changing world. A second chance beckons when an old friend enriched by the capitalist new dawn invites him to refashion his opus for a television serial. But Erdman is made acutely aware that the market exerts its own forms of censorship.

While he comes to accept that every age must cast Catherine in its own image, one question continues to nag at him. Was the Empress, whose notorious sexual appetites were sated with favours bought for titles and coin, ever truly loved?

In his search for an answer, Erdman will find the fulfillment that filmmaking once promised him.