Ten turbulent years behind the scenes at Russian TV channel Dozhd, following its flamboyant founder, Natasha Sindeeva. What starts as a lifestyle channel ‘for normal people’ becomes one of Russia’s few independent news broadcasters. And also one of Vladimir Putin’s loudest rivals – with all the dangers involved.
From a partying socialite who doesn’t even vote, Natasha Sindeeva becomes a determined force opposing Putin’s autocracy. Funded by her rich husband, Sindeeva starts Dozhd, ‘The Optimistic Channel’, which begins broadcasting in 2010. During anti-Putin protests in 2011, however, Dozhd transforms from a lifestyle channel into a serious journalistic voice.
Slowly but surely, its reporting on subjects such as the situation in Ukraine and the downing of the MH17 plane, puts the channel further and further at odds with Putin. Sindeeva and her co-workers are threatened, intimidated, censored and evicted from their studios. And when Dozhd is branded a ‘foreign agent’ by the government, the problems enter a whole new phase.