The film “Who are you, Madame Blavatsky?” can be watched in full by clicking below.
It was made in 1991 for a Russian audience, as that was the centenary of H.P. Blavatsky’s passing and also the year the Soviet Union collapsed, meaning that religious freedom was then restored to the Russian people, whereas Theosophy and Theosophical literature had been banned until then.
The original Russian speech of the narrator and actors can still be heard to some extent behind the American English overdubbing but perhaps that just adds to the unusual charm of the production. The film used to be available on DVD from www.hpblavatsky.com but we are told that the site is no longer operative because of having now sold all the DVDs that they had.
Because the film was intended to appeal to the Russian people and to get them interested in the work of HPB, it places particular emphasis on the slanders and attacks she faced from the Russian writer Soloviov (also written Solovieff) and seems to try to pander to the Christian nature of many of the Russian people by using the term “God” quite a lot (sometimes mistranslating some of her own writings so that terms such as “Divine Principle” and “Parabrahm” are replaced with “God”) and also including a couple of positive references to Christ and the Russian Orthodox Church.
It’s true that HPB avoided criticising the Russian Orthodox Church and criticised the Roman Catholic and Protestant instead but we know she wasn’t as pro-Church as the film tries to make out at one point. It’s also the case that when she wrote in a letter that “The ideal of “Christ crucified” becomes more meaningful to me every day” she was merely referring to her own “crucifixion” through relentless persecution, lies, slanders, and betrayals and her willingness and readiness to suffer it all and sacrifice everything for the sake of the Theosophical Cause.
That can be seen from the context in which that statement appears in the book “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett.”
A film would have to be at least 4 hours long (like the famous “Gandhi” film) to do any real justice to HPB and provide a complete overview of her life but this is a special and inspiring film nevertheless, in spite of its minor faults. It’s on a par with the drama-documentary film “The Life of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky” produced by Geoffrey Farthing’s Blavatsky Trust organisation and which is available on DVD for £10 from the Theosophical Society at 50 Gloucester Place, London.
One version of the Blavatsky Trust production, slightly different from the DVD version, can be seen below.
Those who are interested are invited to go to the Articles page here on our site and to explore some of the illuminating and informative articles under the section titled “H.P. Blavatsky and Theosophy.”