Welcome to Chechnya (2020)

  • Feature
  • Documentary
  • 1h 47m
  • Directed by David France
  • Russian, with English subtitles
  • USA
  • Australian Premiere
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WARNING: This film contains documentary imagery of high-impact violence, documentary imagery of high-impact sexual violence, torture themes, sexual violence themes, and testimony depicting violence and sexual assault. Viewers are strongly cautioned, and viewer discretion is strongly advised.

This multi-award-winning documentary is a transfixing and eye-opening exposé of the persecution of queer Chechens – and a testament to the courage of those who risk their lives to grant them safe passage to freedom.

There are few places on Earth as dangerous for gay and lesbian individuals as Chechnya, a region in which they are routinely subjected to arbitrary imprisonment, torture, execution and vigilante violence. The Russian republic, however, has long sought to conceal its human-rights abuses in this territory from the world. The country’s homophobic tyranny, and the immense bravery of those who resist it, is laid bare in this acclaimed documentary by Oscar-nominated filmmaker David France (The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson, MIFF 2017; How to Survive a Plague, MIFF 2012).

Alongside tense hidden-camera footage of border crossings, Welcome to Chechnya uses groundbreaking deepfake-like VFX technology to digitally replace the faces of its subjects, thereby preserving their anonymity. A recipient of multiple major awards at Berlin, Sundance, Hot Docs and elsewhere, this documentary depicts, in gripping detail, the efforts of a small group of committed activists who work to smuggle LGBTQIA+ refugees to safety.

“Taking the form of an anxiously in-the-moment docu-thriller … Welcome to Chechnya further establishes France as America’s foremost documentarian on [LGBTQIA+] issues.” – Variety

Director

David France

Producer

Alice Henty

Producer

Joy A. Tomchin

Producer

Askold Kurov

Producer

David France

Screenwriter

David France

Screenwriter

Tyler H. Walk

Cinematographer

Askold Kurov

Cinematographer

Derek Wiesehahn

Editor

Tyler H. Walk

Composer

Sacha Galperine

Distributor: Madman Entertainment

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