- Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer, Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin, 2012, 90 minutes, color, Russian Federation/United Kingdom
In the winter of 2011, after a controversial election, Vladimir Putin was reinstalled as president of Russia. In response, hundreds of thousands of citizens rose up all over the country to challenge the legitimacy of Putin’s rule. Among them were a group of young, radical-feminist punk rockers, better known as Pussy Riot. Wearing colored balaclavas, tights, and summer dresses, they entered Moscow’s most venerated cathedral and dared to sing “Mother Mary, Banish Putin!” Now they have become victims of a “show” trial.
British filmmaker Mike Lerner and Russian Maxim Pozdorovkin collaborate to chronicle the way one small act of protest captured a nation’s attention and grew to become an international story of human-rights abuse. Putting a personal face on a rebellion, they track three bewildered women who are imprisoned by jail bars and cameras but prepared to defend their actions no matter what it may cost them. This film tells their epic story. - C. R.