"Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it." – Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky
In February 2012, five women wearing brightly coloured balaclavas rushed the altar of a Moscow Russian Orthodox Cathedral with microphones, speakers and a guitar and launched into a "punk prayer" in protest against Vladimir Putin's "excessive nationalism". Parishioners fled as security staff dragged the women from the altar, and amateur video of the incident quickly went viral, making Pussy Riot household names around the world.
This timely film follows the collective from their formation in 2011 through their globally condemned arrest, trial and imprisonment for "hooliganism" at the cathedral, chronicling along the way how this seemingly mild act of defiance snowballed into an international story of politically motivated human-rights abuse. It offers unprecedented access to the women, whose convictions remain staunch in their incarceration, as well as an examination of a Russian society and culture notably altered by the group's actions.
Sundance winner: World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit.
D/P Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin Dist Madman Entertainment L Russian, English w/English subtitles TD DCP/2013