Pussy Riot A Punk Prayer

Pussy Riot A Punk Prayer

Pussy Riot A Punk Prayer

Cast: Mariya Alyokhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova
Directed and Produced by: Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin
Genre: Documentary, Music, News
Running Time: 89 minutes

Synopsis: In February 2012 the feminist art collective Pussy Riot performed a 40 second "punk prayer" inside Russia's main cathedral. This performance led to their arrest on charges of religious hatred and culminated in a trial that has reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society forever. With unparalleled access and exclusive footage, this film tells the incredible story of three young women behind their now famous colorful balaclavas: Nadia, Masha and Katia.

Following the bizarre and intricate twists of the trial, we observe three young women fight back against a justice system that seems impervious to logic. From their family and friends we learn what transformed these women from political activists in to modern day icons. As Nadia, Masha and Katia defend their convictions from a cage inside the courtroom, those Pussy Riot members still at liberty plan new guerilla performances and cultivate a protest movement across the globe.

Pussy Riot A Punk Prayer
Release Date: Exclusive to Cinema Nova from October 10th, 2013


Directors' Statement

I have always been drawn to stories about the power art has to transform society. Last February the image of Pussy Riot's action in Red Square drew my attention and immediately made me want to know who these people in the balaclavas were. What did they want? Where were they going? Then they got arrested for their legendary performance of A Punk Prayer in St Christ The Saviour Cathedral in Moscow and suddenly their story turned out to be one of the most gripping and historically important events of our times.

My curiosity took me to Moscow where I found an incredible network of artists/activists/moral resistance. Their energy, ingenuity and bravery seemed extraordinary to me and it was obvious that a film had to be made about this surreal moment in Russian politics. The following six months were to be a crash course in the complex workings of the Russian judicial system as we did our best to follow the twists and turns of this most bizarre, tragicomedy, otherwise known as the trial of Pussy Riot. What struck me most was the moral courage and integrity of our three heroines, Nadia, Masha and Katia. Over the months, as their political and moral authority grew, I was amazed at how these young women dominated events with their articulate deconstruction of Putin's authoritarian regime and showed the world how fragile democracy can be in modern Russia.

The story of Pussy Riot is about a lot of things, politics, religion, national identity, gender equality, the nature of freedom and the enduring power of punk rock. What Pussy Riot have already achieved is truly amazing (not least the re-engineering of the word Pussy). We can but guess what the hell they will do next. As Nadia says in the film, addressing the court, 'come join us and we can all taste freedom together".
-Mike Lerner

An anonymous feminist art collective, Pussy Riot draws inspiration from Russian avant-garde art and European performance art. They combine the DIY energy of punk rock and the swagger of riot girl with the tactics of the Occupy movement. They channel the spirit of political rebellion that has spread across the globe.

The story of Pussy Riot is also a distinctly Russian one. The fact that their 40 sec performance inside the Christ the Savior Cathedral could provoke such great controversy reveals a lot about Russia today. I wanted to make a film about Pussy Riot because they had asked questions that were long overdue in Russian society. Their "punk prayer" generated an unprecedented national dialogue about politics, religion, law, and the role of art in society. They are a bold reminder that art can still rattle the status quo.

For me, their story also felt personal. Like them, I belong to a generation of Russians that had only a child's experience of the Soviet Union, and came of age during Russia's first two decades. Listening to Nadia, Masha, and Katia testify in court, I learned that we read the same poets and philosophers, listened to the same loud records, and had similar arguments with our parents. I realized that underneath the layers of politics, religion, and history, the story of Pussy Riot is a classic one. It is the story of a younger generation making itself heard by any means necessary.
-Maxim Pozdorovkin

Pussy Riot A Punk Prayer
Release Date:
Exclusive to Cinema Nova from October 10th, 2013




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