With an extraordinary level of access, celebrated director Vitaly Mansky chronicles the Russian president’s controversial rise to power. It’s New Year’s Eve in 1999, and Russia is about to undergo a historic transformation. President Boris Yeltsin, aging and weak, steps down and appoints a little-known figure, Vladimir Putin, to replace him. Mansky was there to capture the transition and now, for the first time ever, he dips into his archives for a rare glimpse at the young Putin and the vast political machine that brought him to power. Winner of Best Documentary at the prestigious Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Putin’s Witnesses is a riveting testimony to what has become a defining moment of the 21st century.