Let us all hope their voices soon will be heard

FPR-BLOG

By Carole Keeney Harrington

Filming and distributing Pussy Riot – The Movement is a topic that has provoked many hours of discussion among the filmmakers and its backers.  What will happen to the people who talked to us and to our production crew, some of them Russians? While we were in Russia filming, two journalists were murdered.  Also, as Americans we were navigating suspicious environs when we filmed in Moscow.

If Pussy Riot can receive a two-year jail sentence for singing a protest song, what reaction can we expect from a documentary that contains harsh criticism of the government and its president, Vladimir Putin. Talking to other filmmakers who work in Russia, we were assured that the worst possible result would be our film would be confiscated, and we would be banished from the country.

The first prediction came true.  We shipped a hard drive from Moscow after several days of filming.  It never arrived in the U.S.  Russian customs has it – a paperwork snafu, they claim. No surprise.  We sneaked two full copies of the footage past security from two different Moscow airports.

We also had a few tense moments regarding the second prediction.  One evening as we prepared dinner, three Russian policemen knocked on our door.  They wanted to know what we were “up to.”  After examining our director’s passport and the apartment lease, they left.

Four minutes later, Yekaterina Samutsevich, the released Pussy Riot member, arrived for dinner.  Concidence?  Maybe.  Maybe not. Two strange women had called earlier in the day, accusing us of disturbing the peace in the apartment building.

When we asked dissidents why they do not leave to live in a more democratic society, they all said, “We love our country and want to change it to be part of the world.”

Sometimes it takes a shock to alert people to danger.  Pussy Riot provided a catalyst for discussion among diverse groups and encouragement to citizens inside Russia who are seeking freedoms many of us take for granted.  Let us all hope their voices soon will be heard.

One Response to Let us all hope their voices soon will be heard

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