David France‘s (How to Survive a Plague) Welcome to Chechnya debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to critical raves, with the powerful LGBTQ documentary collecting the award for best editing and later, at Berlinale, winning the Panorama Audience Award for Best Documentary. The documentary will soon arrive on HBO, with the network announcing the June premiere date in the official Welcome to Chechnya trailer.
Welcome to Chechnya Trailer
Welcome to Chechnya delves into the anti-LGBTQ persecution in the closed Russian republic of Chechnya, where LGBTQ people live in fear of being “disappeared,” tortured, and killed by their government if their sexuality is discovered. The documentary follows a small group of queer activists who have resolved to smuggle LGBTQ people out of the country, presenting like a real-life thriller that looks to be equal turns heart-pounding and harrowing.
/Film reviewer Abby Olcese called Welcome to Chechnya “nail-biting, harrowing and vital filmmaking” when she saw it at the 2020 True/False festival, writing in her review, “With comprehensive access and a vital narrative, Welcome to Chechnya is an important work of journalism. David France uses lessons he’s learned from directing and producing his previous films to make a film that’s frightening in its truth, and painful in its depiction of its subjects’ reality. It’s the kind of life-risking superheroism that makes its viewers put whatever petty squabbles define our lives aside, take notice, and hopefully be inspired to take some kind of action.”
Here is the synopsis for Welcome to Chechnya:
In this searing documentary, Academy Award-nominated director David France (How To Survive A Plague) brings us a terrifying real-life thriller that shadows a group of brave activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya. In recent years, tens of thousands of LGBTQ people in the republic have suffered detention, torture and sometimes death at the hands of the authorities. But a small network of queer activists have mobilized into action, smuggling people in need out of their communities, securing visas and sheltering them in safe houses. Shot with astonishing access, largely with hidden cameras that keep rolling throughout every moment of escape, and employing a revolutionary face-swapping technique to protect the anonymity of its endangered subjects, this documentary exposes these underreported atrocities, while highlighting an extraordinary group of heroic people confronting a brutal system.
Welcome to Chechnya premieres on HBO June 30, 2020.
Cool Posts From Around the Web: