Films / Programs

Spotlight: LGBT Films in Today’s Russia

Against the backdrop of widespread intolerance and a 2013 federal law banning so-called “gay propaganda,” the quality of LGBT life in Russia has deteriorated disturbingly over the past year. Even so, queer-themed Russian cinema is still being made, albeit under increasingly risky conditions. In response, Frameline is proud to offer a surprising and vibrant selection of recent films created in Russia addressing a fascinating range of LGBT stories and issues.

Frameline’s commitment to supporting queer visibility in Russia through film runs deep. In the summer of 1991, Frameline partnered with the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) to organize the first gay film festival in the Soviet Union, bringing films, artists and discussions to hungry audiences in Moscow and Leningrad—some 20,000 people attended the groundbreaking events. Russia and other states in the former Soviet Union have since nurtured small but persistent queer film cultures, including homegrown festivals (like the Side by Side festival based in St. Petersburg, now in its sixth year), out media activists and cinema artists working with LGBT themes.

We hope you will join us for these four eye-opening programs.

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

Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda

Russia, 2014, 78M

This lucid documentary primer on LGBT discrimination in Russia features frank interviews with Russians on the worsening situation for their country’s queer citizens. Directed by outspoken political activist (and gay porn mogul) Michael Lucas, a Moscow native.

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Pussy vs. Putin


This bracing film program brings together the funny, fresh and bold voices of women on the cutting—and sometimes bleeding—edge of free expression in Putin’s Russia, and a new documentary chronicling the controversial punk protest group Pussy Riot.

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France, 2014, 87M

Believing they have witnessed a vicious homophobic attack, a young gay Russian couple risks launching their own amateur investigation in this suspenseful drama.

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Winter Journey

Russia, 2013, 90M

Two young men from opposite sides of the socioeconomic spectrum embark on a dangerous course of self-destructive behavior in this striking and brave drama from a country where being gay has recently faced perilous hardships.

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