C47Houston Flix Review:

"Pussy Riot: The Movement"

 

 

When several members of the Russian feminist activist rock/punk group "Pussy Riot" protest against the Russian Government through their music on the alter of the an Orthodox Church and arrested, they find that their sentence is harsher than the crime they committed. Facing two years in one of Russia's toughest prisons for political prisoners the public and the world rally for their release.

A Documentary written and Directed by Houston's Natasha Fissiak "Pussy Riot: The Movement" documents the nearly two-year imprisonment of the women. The documentary tells their story within the context of Russian President Vladimir Putin's political crackdowns and questions the lack of constitutional rights afforded not only the members of the band, but the people of Russia AND, through government corruptness  not enforced. 

This is a candid view into the world of Russia, behind the scenes as it were, in a country struggling with new ideas and and a new way of thinking - a country based on a constitution where the people are afforded certain rights and privileges and the right to speak out against the Government.  

With her camera in hand and a skeleton crew, Ms. Fissiak travels to the former Soviet Union and to the prison where the band members are being held.

"The area where we went to is called Mordovia. This is where Nadezhda 'Nadia' Tolokonnikova (one of the Pussy Riot girls) was sent," comments the Director of "Pussy Riot: The Movement", Ms. Natasha Fissiak in an exclusive interview with C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine (March/April 2015 issue).  "This is probably the worst prison in Russia. This is where political prisoners get sent when the government stomps its foot. The conditions of these particular prisons are very, very rough. The area encompasses 24 maybe 26 prisons. As we were driving through the area, there are guards with machineguns standing and they're watching you. It was very uncomfortable, but we took out our cameras and we still filmed there. [But}, as far as the girls were concerned, we were NOT allowed to film them. Actually, no one was allowed to film them..."

Our take on the story: Created and written by Ms. Natasha Fissiak the story is an interesting one. Ms. Fissiak paved the story with a history of the new constitution implemented in Russia and the history of the Pussy Riot band as they protest the governments attempts to repeal some of the constitutional rights of the people in Russia, the events that led to their arrest and their ultimate incarceration. The story moves forward with constitutional language followed by interviews of what has happened as a result of government intervention that led to its demise.  To support her position, Ms. Fissiak interviews some of the people that have supported the band members both personally and legally and gathers some interviews from people that are concerned about the governments infringement of their constitutional rights. We think the story flows rather nicely from beginning to the end in helping us understand what may be happening in a country just recently growing with the idea of a democracy as its new foundation in a land still struggling with tradition. 

Our take on the production value of the documentary (the technical side):  Documentary pictures are difficult to assess when it comes to the technical side. This is because the expectation of documentaries are usually subject to the information being presented rather than the expectation of production value or the combination.  The "Pussy Riot: The Movement" documentary by Writer/Director Natasha Fissiak, in our opinion, is a very nicely constructed documentary. Sound was good, composition of the interviews were excellently done and lit.  Cuts, wipes and transitions were, as expected and unremarkable (as it should be). Camera work was excellent and the addition of some stock footage intermingled with interviews and graphics were well placed and informative.  Music from the band was excellently used and not over-powering and the voice-over narration was clear and  moved the story to a very nice flow to the end.

Our assessment of the movie:  We enjoyed it.  "Pussy Riot: The Movement" is both interesting and informative. The movie was visually intriguing and, of course the audience is treated to see sites that we as Americans have rarely seen. We were treated to hear some music from an alternative punk rock feminist band whose message countered the prevailing government and religious establishments in Russia. The movie is thought-provoking and exposes a system that needs work and reform. Whether is it an accurate assessment of the political climate of Russia or a statement from some vocal artists is a question you will have to ask yourself and research. However the ulterior question is whether the punishment fits the crime and the loss of constitutional rights. Good movie.

C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine and C47Houston WEEKLY, using the TSIRS scale rated "Pussy Riot: The Movement" as a strong 4.5 out of 5 stars.

C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine and HCC Filmmakers Club's Eric Calderon interviewed Writer/Director Natasha Fissiak and we grabbed more photos from the Houston Premiere. You can read the interview and see the additional pictures in our 2015 March/April issue of the magazine. Order your issue at: http://www.c47houston.com/C47MarchApril2015L62.htm  

Title: Pussy Riot: The Movement

Houston Premiere: Thursday, February 26th, 2015 at the Landmark River Oaks Theater, Houston, Texas.

Running time: Approximately 85 minutes

Production Company: Golden World Films LLC

Producers: Ms. Fissiak, Carole Keeney Harrington, Marianna Yarovskaya, Rick Harrington, Rob Reese, Claire Chubbuck and Lyndon Chubbuck

Writer: Natasha Fissiak

Director: Natasha Fissiak

Cinematographer: Dmitry Rudakov

Editor: Natasha Fissiak

Music by: Pussy Riot

Special Effects: Michael Penrod

Colorists: Jonathan Luke, Ingela Ogard, John Hawthorne Smith

Narration/VO by: Daryl Hannah

Interviews with: Mariya Alyokhina, Diana Arbenina, Artour Aristakisian, Svetlana Bakhmina, Veronika Dolina, Mark Feygin, Masha Gessen, Marat Guelman, Gregory Kataev, Denis Krukov, Oleg Kulik, Sergey Lukashevsky, Vitaliy Manskiy, Yaroslav Nikitenko, Nikolai Polozov, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Vyacheslav Nadvoretskiy Flava, Nadehda Tolokonnibova, Vera Tolokonnikova, Pyotr Verzilov, Olya Vinogradova and Yana Yakovleva. 

You can order the movie on VOD

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/owc9es 

IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2953170/ 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/joinpussyriot 

Website: http://www.PussyRiotTheMovie.com 

YouTube Trailer:  https://youtu.be/LT22daqIozo 

Written by H. Luna / C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine / C47Houston WEEKLY / All Rights Reserved 03-30-15

 
 

             

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