Introduced by Polina Kovaleva, Project Director, Eurasia, of PEN America. Followed by a discussion with author Masha Gessen and filmmaker Max Tuula in person
Co-presented by PEN America
Dir. Askold Kurov. 2017, 75 mins. After the Russian annexation of Crimea, Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker, activist, and native of the region, became an active opponent of the occupation. In May 2014, he was arrested by the Russian security service, charged with planning terrorist attacks. A year later he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Director Askold Kurov follows the progress of the trial and efforts to have him released. The notorious case inspired worldwide protests from the European Film Academy and filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, Wim Wenders, Agnieszka Holland, Ken Loach, and Russian colleagues Alexandr Sokurov and Andrey Zvyagintsev. Kurov’s eye-opening documentary investigation deepens and darkens into a Kafkaesque story about a man trapped inside a state machine. At the time of this screening, Oleg Sentsov is in the second month of a hunger strike. He is demanding the release of 64 Ukrainian nationals jailed after Russia’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Masha Gessen is the author of the National Book Award-winning The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia as well as The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, and The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker.
Born in Vladivostok, Russia, Max Tuula is an Estonian producer, whose credits include The Term (also screening in the series Putin’s Russia), My Friend Boris Nemtsov, and The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov.
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