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Olya’s love


Kirill Sakharnov, 2014

Austria, Russia



In Putin’s Russia, we follow enthusiastic twentysomething Olya in her unstinting struggle for equal rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people. She organizes exhibitions and coming-out events and demonstrates actively on the streets, often right on the front line between demonstrators, riot police and opponents. The film’s home-video style underlines the personal nature of this highly politicized issue. Olya learns to use the camera herself so she can film in the intimacy of her apartment – while her girlfriend is fitting a wall socket or they are talking with friends about having children. This private footage is interspersed with material shot by an external cameraman – often rough material from the street, just when something is happening: beatings not only during the demonstrations in front of the Duma, but also on the escalator in the metro, where women are attacked by members of an anti-gay group. By letting the camera into her life, Olya shows us what the price of standing up for your sexuality is in today's Russia.

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