Pussy vs. Putin

This bracing film program, part of Frameline38’s spotlight on Russian LGBT cinema, brings together the funny, fresh, and bold voices of women on the cutting—and sometimes bleeding—edge of free expression in Putin’s Russia.

In The Beginning, a comic short, the setting is Moscow 2012, and nobody is out. The new documentary Pussy vs. Putin is a fascinating eyewitness chronicle of Russia’s feminist rock performance/activist group Pussy Riot before and after the 2013 arrest and imprisonment of three of their members for hooliganism. Cellphone cameras accompany the group into rehearsals, protests, and even into jail cells, bearing witness to the fierce condemnation they faced not only at the hands of security police but by legions of counter-protesters. (Supportive acts shown by Madonna and Faith No More pale by comparison.) This observational film lets audiences come to their own conclusions about the meaning and potency of Pussy Riot’s actions, though the ferocity of the backlashes against them—from state, church and lay opposition—leaves little doubt about what they are protesting.

— Peter L. Stein

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

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

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