Pussy Riot

Directed: Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin

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Since the beginning of organized religion, a person, or group of people, could count on being skewered if they dared to stand up and talk of discontent. Going up against that force also guaranteed your being noticed...or burnt at the stake, broken on a wheel; general consider-it-done torturings post proclamations. Nothing ever really changes kids.

Back in February of 2012 a small group of women “punk” rock musicians took their song of protest quite literally onto the alter to give their sermon of protest. In bright masks and little dresses, a group that had been, until then, shouting out on the streets of Moscow, got heard around the world. They called themselves Pussy Riot, and they opened up a shit-storm with their 40 second performance on Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ’s hallowed stage, um, altar.

Before security could get all of them to stop, the brave gals sprang onto the altar area and began to flash-sing their lyrics of protest for government / church collusion (God Shit is the title?). Onlookers were dumbfounded, and in the melee the group got away.

Not for long. Because up on the list of least tolerable places to live, Russia, shines like bright evil death star. The Russian government hunted down and arrested three of the five in performance that day. The charges were extreme and seriously distorted. Smelling blood, the media flocked. And what would have been a sentence of probation now brought a nation, then the world, in to watch – and lend their own opinions (truth based or not ;depending) towards the case. It was now an event.

The seconds-long show was portrayed as an act of religious hate-mongers – that sold more papers and upset more comrades. The three girls were put in a cage and asked to dance for the courts.

By the time court came about, many had heard of the act, and the vilifying, and tuned in; a side firmly chosen. The saner of the hordes understood that beneath the headlines, Pussy Riot’s small act of defiance was being blown up into a twirling dervish's convention of accusations to help railroad anyone who would dare to speak up and out against the state of things.

And the documentary, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, from the performance through the whole court proceeding shows you exactly the state of things; and of power of state and church in Russia.

The film makers don’t choose a side; they do not have to. The film interviews expose the snowballing of everything. They interview a group of wildly enthusiastic priests that think the charged girls are nothing less than witches and bemoan that in 1670 they’d have burned them – case closed. It is wonderful (and terrifying) to watch these men-of-God and their hypocrisy unedited before you.

The group’s name is explained to throngs in the street: “pussy” is not just a little innocent kitten but a uterus – but not really it is slang meaning a "deranged vagina".

Now an international news story, Pussy Riot was given a platform. And from their cage they spoke out even more. They really couldn’t have asked for a larger spotlight! Now, all ears and cameras on them, the captured Pussy Riot members give eloquent dagger-strike comments on issues that need to be addressed for women and the countries people – it’s brilliant.

The wonderfully ironic part is those who seriously attempted to nail them to the metaphorical cross managed to make the Pussy Riot a relevant and substantial voice for all people who want to be heard, everywhere.

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Watch the video that started it all http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN5inCayfnM




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