The documentary “Welcome to Chechnya”, which explores the persecution of gays in Russia, has just won a trailer and a poster. This is the work of the award-winning writer and director David France – nominated for an Oscar for “How to Survive a Plague”,
The feature, which won three awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, a statuette at the Sundance Film Festival and the audience’s award for Best International Documentary at the 44th São Paulo International Film Festival, opens on streaming platforms on November 20.
The documentary brings to light an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Russian republic of Chechnya, from a group of activists who risk their lives to rescue victims of the brutal government campaign that harasses, imprisons, tortures and kills people in the LBTQIA + community.
To guarantee the protection of the victims’ identities, but without losing the emotional truth of their experiences, the filmmakers made use of artificial intelligence and deep learning machine, like a DeepFake that, instead of manipulating someone’s image, allows victims of this terror to speak their truths using someone else’s face. The voices were also changed and pseudonyms adopted.
Keeping the commitment to remain anonymous, “Welcome to Chechnya” exposes atrocities that are often underreported, in an environment of persecution, prejudice and hatred.
“In my work as a journalist and writer over many years, I focused on the stories of people that society pushed aside: the despised, the ignored, the hated”, says the director. In this feature, he accompanies ordinary human beings who do something extraordinary. “I ask the question that has long puzzled me: what makes a person take enormous risks and responsibilities for others? In other words, what does it take to be a hero? ”, ends.
“Welcome to Chechnya” will be available for purchase and rental on Claro Now, Vivo Play, iTunes / Apple TV and Sky Play platforms, and only for purchase on Google Play and YouTube Movies.