The effect of Pavel Loparev and Askold Kurov’s look at being young and gay in Putin’s Russia is like finding a mournful and sad plea for help stuffed inside a bottle set adrift at sea. A powerful assembly of first person looks at persecution, bullying, and being forced to live in secret, Loparev and Kurov realize the gravity of the project and display things as raw as possible with no embellishment.
45 teenagers (most of them anonymous) share their stories about the being gay in a country where being gay has essentially become illegal. They share their stories via a website devoted to giving a voice to the truly voiceless.
Loparev and Kurov pretty much have the job done for them since the footage from these teens very uncomfortably and depressingly tells all that needs to be known about the situation. A lot of what they’re talking about will be triggering for some, but it’s a blunt force depiction of cold, harsh truth that might be one of the most vital films at this year’s festival. (Andrew Parker)
Monday, April 28th, Isabel Bader Theatre, 9:30pm
Tuesday, April 29th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 3:30pm
Thursday, May 1st, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3, 9:00pm
Saturday, May 3rd, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3, 8:30pm