NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Hot Docs Film Festival Reviews -

(Maxim Poz­dorovkin, Mike Lerner, UK). 86 min­utes. Rat­ing: NNNNN Note to au­thor­i­tar­ian regimes: don’t mount a show trial if the de­fen­dants are more me­dia-savvy than you are.

This and about a dozen other ideas – in­clud­ing the value of per­for­mance art and the power of Putin – are be­hind this kick-ass pic about Rus­sian punk band Pussy Riot and the trial that en­sued after the group put on a guer­rilla per­for­mance in Moscow’s cen­tral cathe­dral.

Maxim Poz­dorovkin and Mike Lerner be­gan cov­er­ing the band just be­fore the rad­i­cal guer­rilla artists went on trial for play­ing God’s Shit in the church, but the women them­selves had been tap­ing ev­ery per­for­mance – tes­ti­mony to their sense that what they were do­ing was im­por­tant.

Charis­matic ar­restees Masha ( Maria Alyokhina), Ka­tia ( Yeka­te­rina Sa­mut­se­vich) and es­pe­cially Na­dia ( Nadezhda Tolokon­nikova) and cov­er­age of the trial and demon­stra­tions both for and against Pussy Riot give this doc elec­tri­fy­ing en­ergy.

See it. SGC Apr 26, 2 pm, The Bloor Hot Docs Cin­ema; Apr 28, 4: 30 pm, Is­abel Bader The­atre; May 4, 7 pm, Sco­tia­bank The­atre 3.

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