The Master and Margarita: the new adaptation causing consternation at the Kremlin

Pro-Putin groups have called for the film's director to be charged as a terrorist

Mikhail Bulgakov
Bulgakov did not live to see the publication of his masterpiece, which would become one of Russia's most celebrated works after his death
(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

A new film adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s anti-censorship Soviet novel "The Master and Margarita" is causing a stir at the Kremlin after it won rave reviews from Russian film-goers.

According to Bulgakov's celebrated book about the devil's visit to Stalinist Moscow, "manuscripts don't burn"; a famous phrase that has become "a shorthand for art's supposed ability to triumph over repression", said Joy Neumeyer in The New York Times. But those words are being "put to the test once again in Russia", where a new adaptation by Russian-American filmmaker Michael Lockshin has "caused a scandal". 

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