Program
Director: David France
2020
United States
107 minutes
Unclassified 18+

“a moving and vital indictment of mass persecution.” (New York Times)

David France is perhaps the most important gay rights activist we have today. He was Oscar-nominated for his 2012 doco How to Survive a Plague, a thorough and absorbing chronicle of the AIDS crisis. With characteristic courage he takes on the atrocious situation in Russian-dominated Chechnya, where the government denies the existence of gay people while simultaneously subjecting them to a campaign of imprisonment, rape, and torture. There are many human faces to this tragedy: homosexual men and women trying to stay underground until they can flee the country, and the support organisations whose leaders risk everything to shelter them. A film of searing urgency.

“Welcome to Chechnya is a horror movie, but it’s also a collective profile in courage. You can’t say that “such people” are not here. They are, and they’re not just heroes, the movie suggests. They’re the last thing standing between survival and a purge.” (Rolling Stone)

“may leave you beyond a place words can adequately describe” (salon.com)

“a formidably tense, real-life drama” (Toronto Globe and Mail)

Film Type Documentary
Program Strand Queer as Film
Language Russian, English
Subtitles English
Director David France
Producer Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov, David France
Screenwriters Tyler H. Walk, David France
Cinematographer Askold Kurov, Derek Wiesehahn
Editor Tyler H. Walk
Music Evgueni Galperine, Sacha Galperine
Accolades Berlin, Amnesty, Audience and Activist Awards, 2020; Hot Docs, Audience Award, 2020; Sundance, Documentary Editing Award, 2020; Thessaloniki, FIPRESCI Prize, Golden Alexander and Mermaid Awards, 2020
Genre Gay/Lesbian, Social Issue