Welcome to Chechnya (2020)

Welcome to Chechnya (2020)

A harrowing, uncompromising account of efforts to save LGBTQ+ Chechens from Russian authorities

7.6

Movie

United States of America
Chechen, English, French
Documentary
2020
DAVID FRANCE
Vladimir Putin, Zelim Bakaev
107 min

What it's about

This searing investigative work shadows a group of activists risking unimaginable peril to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ program raging in the repressive and closed Russian republic. Unfettered access and a remarkable approach to protecting anonymity exposes this under-reported atrocity–and an extraordinary group of people confronting evil.

The take

Featuring real, in-the-moment footage of operations to rescue young queer individuals from the continuing anti-gay purges in the Chechen Republic, Welcome to Chechnya makes for a demanding but essential call to action. There's a genuine sense of fear that pervades the documentary, not just for those being rescued after being forcibly outed, beaten, and trapped by the people around them, but for the filmmakers themselves, whose operations are built on meager resources and desperate, spur-of-the-moment decisions. It's a remarkably courageous film—one that also presents new ways of keeping sensitive subjects safe through the thoughtful use of deepfake technology, keeping their identities hidden while allowing them to freely express themselves.

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