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Shot at the end of 2011 through the beginning of 2012, this short film captures the protests that erupted in St. Petersburg against the regime of President Vladimir Putin following the falsification of votes of a parliamentary election and in anticipation of the presidential election.

We lived in the middle of downtown, and protesters would flow down our street and onto the park, Marsovo Polya, or the Field of Mars, so we shot them from our windows on the second floor. The police would call me down when they saw me, and I showed them my press card and was allowed to proceed.

Another part of this film that is poignant to me is our use of Pussy Riot's song, the title of which translates to, Putin's pissed himself. It was before anyone really heard of Pussy Riot, much less outside Russia. The saga that was to come with that group of brave women reflects that of the popular moment against Putin as a whole.

From our original description:

–°ivil society in Russia grew in a push for fair elections and against the return of Vladimir Putin as president.

Presented at the De Balie festival, "Welcome Back, Putin," in Amsterdam on 4 March 2012.

Background:
Parliamentary elections on 4 December 2011 drew allegations of blatant fraud committed by the ruling party, United Russia. The following days and months saw a wave of street protests throughout Russia, attracting people of various political persuasions to call for a new, honest election. The largest demonstrations were in Moscow, and the second biggest in St-Petersburg.

The month before the March 4th presidential election, activists organized a series of protests calling for fair elections and urging people to vote against Vladimir Putin. This video documents the protests and preparations for the election throughout February 2012.

About:
Features music by Pussy Riot, a feminist-activist punk band, members of which are in jail (as of 15 March 2012) on charges of 'hooliganism' after a musical performance at a major Orthodox church in Moscow (check it out at pussy-riot.livejournal.com/12442.html). They face 7 years in prison if convicted.

 

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