Welcome to Chechnya

David France
| 2020
| 107 min

Oscar nominated director David France (How to Survive a PlagueThe Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson) gives a voice to the survivors and activists on the ground, in this urgent and vital exposé of the ongoing attack on Chechen LGBTIQ+ people’s lives.

President of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has overseen a brutal campaign by government security officials to “cleanse the blood” of the Chechen people since 2016, detaining, torturing, and executing LGBTIQ+ people. Facing growing prejudice and danger, a group of activists mobilised to help the victims of this violent regime. Despite limited experience and resources, they formed a vast secret network of people working to locate, shelter, and smuggle those in jeopardy out of the country, often at great personal risk. Provided unprecedented access to the day-to-day workings of the underground pipeline, this powerful film offers much-needed insights into the personal struggles of the survivors of this vicious purge and those working to save them. Equal parts gripping and chilling, Welcome to Chechnya is an unflinching investigation into a current humanitarian crisis that’s confronting but essential viewing.

David France
Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov, David France
Sydney Premiere
Festival Year