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In her fearless quest to uncover the wrongdoings of the Russian state, Anna POLITKOVSKAYA was often the only spokesperson for the victims of Putin’s government. At age 48, she was assassinated. Destiny takes over her life and the hero’s stubborn desire to help the oppressed is also her tragic flaw.
This is a documentary film about the life and activities of Anna POLITKOVSKAYA, a Russian woman journalist and human rights activist who has been speaking against the Russian violence against Chechnya. Marina GOLDOVSKAYA, a documentary director and Anna’s college friend, captures Anna’s inner feelings and stories for 15 years from the early 1990s to her assassination in 2006. Through a female director and a female journalist’s gaze, the documentary deals with the complex problems of ethnic conflicts between the Russians and the Chechens, the Chechen refugees, the Chechen rebels’ terror attacks, and Russia’s response to the attacks.
The intimacy between Anna and the director, Marina, is expressed through the proximity between the subject and the camera. It leads the audience to see Anna’s more human side, and that differentiates this documentary from previous documentaries that have covered Anna’s story. Instead of focusing on Anna’s activities and life, Marina’s camera focuses on Anna’s mentality in having to scrape up her courage in fear, unable to ignore the victims’ cries. Among the male journalists, the consensus is such that the Anna’s articles are not objective enough in that
they are too emotional. However in response, Anna rebukes the criticisms by rhetorically asking how one can guarantee objectivity in an extremely violent situation. This film allows the audience to rethink about the meaning of resistance using methods of expression, such as words, speeches, and cameras. (HONG So-in)
Marina GOLDOVSKAYAMarina GOLDOVSKAYA
One of Russia\'s best-known documentary filmmakers. She received a Ph.D. in Fine Arts in the Moscow State Film Institute in 1987, and she became a tenured Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Theater, Film & Television in 1996. She has made 32 documentary films. She first got recognition for her documentary, Solovky Power (1988) received a special certificate of acknowledgement from the Jury at the Sundance Film Festival. Her documentary works include The Shattered Mirror (1992), The House on Arbat Street (1993) and The Prince Is Back (1999).