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Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER reveals the story of Pussy Riot, a punk band who performed a 40-second “punk prayer” against Putin’s government in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Three members were charged with hooliganism and put on trial.

Director: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin
Year: 2013
Time: 88 min
Club Member Rating:
 Pokazatelnyy protsess: Istoriya Pussy Riot
(2013) on IMDb

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Ways to Influence

Share this film with others, so they can learn about Pussy Riot and the political issues they are trying to uncover and change in Russia.

Support Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina’s non-governmental organization aiming to protect the rights of prisoners at Zonaprava.

Buy, read, and share Masha Gessen’s book, Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot.

Buy, read, and share Rough Trade books’ Let’s Start A Pussy Riot. All sales go to support Pussy Riot.

Support your local artists. Also, make art of your own that addresses local, national, and international politics—not only to express yourself, but to get others involved and inspired.

Related Articles and Resources

Behind the Documentary: Pussy Riot and their Punk Prayer

Marie Claire speaks with filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin about the film’s significance.

“There isn’t just a feminist agenda, they also have a political agenda — they are basically trying to transform society and to come up with an alternative kind of protest strategy to make people listen, to help build a more humane and just society for their children for their friends, family, and everyone else.”

Author Masha Gessen On Writing Pussy Riot in Prison

Watch the video interview with Masha Gessen on her experience corresponding with the imprisoned women.

For more, check out Gessen’s book, Words Will Break Cement.

“Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland”

The release of the music video coincided with the Winter Olympics in Sochi. It depicts the women in trademark brightly-coloured balaclavas, protesting in Sochi and being arrested by police.

Watch it on The Guardian.

NPR interview with Masha Gessen

On the Pussy Riot arrests and the crackdown that followed. Listen the full story on NPR.

Officials Ban First Russian Screening of Pussy Riot film, A Punk Prayer

Read the full story here.

INFLUENCE FILM CLUB PLAYLIST

A MULTITUDE OF DROPS
Those who have stood up against oppression and the unrestrained powers of our time.

Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer is Pure Protest Poetry

For The Guardian’s “Poem of the week,” writer and translator Carol Rumens presents her English translation of the lyrics in Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer.

“Careless translations of Punk Prayer obscure the song’s serious purpose, and in solidarity with the band I’m offering my version of the lyrics,” Rumens said.

How Putin Radicalized Pussy Riot: From Artist to Prison Reform Activists

“By imprisoning Masha and Nadia, Putin vetted their reputations as political prisoners and enabled a first-hand investigation into a whole new dimension of corruption. By releasing them… ideals turned into idols, the hardened and fearless celebrities, hijacking the spotlight of his pardon for their reform activism.”

Read the full article here.

Maria and Nadezhda Say They Want Acquittal from Vladimir Putin, Not Amnesty

When Putin released the two imprisoned Pussy Riot members as part of an amnesty, Maria Alyokhina said, “This is not an amnesty, this is a hoax and a PR move.”

Samutsevich was also critical. “It was not amnesty we expected from Putin; we demand acquittal.”

Read more on The Guardian.

SPOTIFY

Listen to our playlist with music from the film on Spotify.

Watch Pussy Riot on The Colbert Report

Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina appeared on The Colbert Report to discuss Vladimir Putin, Russia’s “gay propaganda” laws, their release from prison, and the upcoming Sochi Olympics. They are excellent interviews. Watch them both here.

Why I Have Gone on Hunger Strike

In an open letter, Nadezhda explains why the brutal conditions at Penal Colony No 14 led her to undertake a hunger strike in protest.

From Nadia’s father:

Andrey Tolokonnikov in the Huffington Post:

“The people lost direction, they are demoralized, rootless, drained by the instability that has continued for 400 years since the great turmoil and corruption. It is impossible to ask a jellyfish stranded on the beach for its opinion about anything. I’m sorry, but during the 2 years of harassment of the women, I finally lost faith in the Russian people and the hope that on this earth in Russia there will ever be something different. Nadia has not lost hope! I, yes, I lost it!”

Video Interview with Filmmakers, Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin

Watch this casual, yet compelling interview with the filmmakers of PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER to learn more about why they made this film and why it was important for them to put the story of Pussy Riot into a historical perspective.

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