Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta commissioned ten young directors to film events taking place around them over two winter months dominated by political demonstrations. The result is a chronicle of Russia's winter protests.
There is a high level of discontent about the political situation in many strata of society, including everyone from middle-aged men drinking vodka at work to overexcited journalists and young demonstrators. And they're all organizing protests, joining rallies and voting. Young people are climbing on buildings to hang up their banners and standing on street corners to debate with Putin supporters. There's irony and humor in there, too, with plenty of political jokes and grinning faces when the crowd starts singing, ‘No Putin, no cry’. But the mood is generally grim rather than optimistic. Opponents threaten supporters of controversial punk band Pussy Riot, and police action against protesters is often utterly ruthless. Emotions run high among Putin opponents as well, because everyone has a different idea about this modern-day czar. ‘Russia has turned into a psychiatric ward,’ a nun sighs. Fortunately, we also encounter a few heroes – in the freezing cold, trying to change their country against all odds.
The filmproject was the initiative of Larisa Malyukova, filmcritic for the Novaya Gazeta. She will be present at the Movies that Matter Festival in March 2013. The film is part of the NLRF 2013 programme. The Movies that Matter Festival will organise an exchange programme with the Russian Stalker Festival in Moscow.