Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda

DIRECTORS: Michael Lucas, Scott Stern

Expected to attend: Director, Subject Michael Lucas Director, international LGBT rights advocate Julie Dorf

Campaign of Hate is a lucid and necessary documentary primer on the hot-button issue of LGBT discrimination in Russia. Directed by outspoken provocateur and social activist Michael Lucas, a Moscow native, the film provides impressive, candid access to everyday Russian LGBT citizens and activists coping with mounting discrimination, as well as to one prominent anti-gay legislator, who together paint a sobering picture of the worsening reality for Russia’s queer citizens.

Anti-gay sentiment has spread rapidly as Vladimir Putin and the radically conservative Russian Orthodox Church have tightened their political grip, banning so-called “gay propaganda” and making nearly any public discussion of gay equality a crime. Violent attacks against Russian gays, or suspected gays, are often recorded and posted online with impunity. Lucas’s interviewees come from all walks of life and include noted journalist Masha Gessen, who as a lesbian mother must weigh fleeing the country with her family after she is singled out as an unfit parent by legislator Vitaly Milonov (also interviewed). We hear from a gay male couple, who despite years of cohabitation still hide their relationship from neighbors, fearing for their personal safety. We also meet a drag performer, victims of hate crimes, and undeterred organizers like the producers of the Side by Side Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival. This is the second documentary by director (and onscreen interviewer) Lucas, who is the CEO of Lucas Entertainment, a gay adult film studio based in New York.

Followed by a panel discussion including filmmaker Michael Lucas and international LGBT rights activist Julie Dorf.


— Chris Keech

This film contains graphic depictions of homophobic violence.

In Russian, English with English subtitles.

Presented with special support from UC Berkeley’s ISEEES (Institute for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies).

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D305

Co-presented by:
Council for Global Equality
International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission

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