David France – Welcome To Chechnya #Berlinale2020

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9 min. and 14 sec.

A talk with David France, brave and committed director of a documentary that is going to shake conscience and governments, on a inhuman gender purge, still going on in Chechnya.

Play Podcast
9 min. and 14 sec.

PODCAST | Angelo Acerbi interviews David France, director of the film Welcome To Chechnya.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

David France had the nerve to shoot during 18 months on one of the safe houses use to hide lgbtqi people before fleeing Chechnya, following the “gay purge” that the government started in 2017. This is still happening, with a more difficult pace, and this film could help to ignite attention to the issue again. David talks with Angelo Acerbi about how he worked, how he edited and the personal involvement with the people he met.

Welcome To Chechnya:  In 2017, the LGBTQI* community, human rights defenders and allies all over the world were shocked by the devastating news of crimes being committed in the Russian republic of Chechnya. In a coordinated action, the authorities were rounding up gay and bisexual men and women, and taking them to illegal prison facilities where they were tortured and forced to out others, with the result that they were either executed or released to their families where they were often subjected to “honour killings”. In an interview, Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov denied all accusations, claiming that there are no queer people in Chechnya. David France’s film is the first documentary about those who have come together to save lives – both their own and those of others. This film is a raw, emotionally arresting account of the enormous risks and setbacks but also the victories won against an ultra-conservative society and government. Following rescue operations undertaken by several courageous activists, the film is meticulous in unveiling reality in today’s Chechnya as it unfolds, and excels at making palpable the fear and the hope in the fight for survival.

To discover more about the film, click here.

  • Reporter
    Angelo Acerbi
  • Guest
    David France
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Welcome To Chechnya
  • Festival section
    Panorama Dokumente
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