Film Review: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

When the documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer was released in 2013, three members of the Russian punk rock protest group Pussy Riot were still behind bars. While that has since changed, the group and the formerly imprisoned women haven’t left the newspaper headlines. What the documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer does is bring to light the back story. How exactly did three young women spark such an international storm with such a seemingly little action as performing in a church?

It’s easy to assume that Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer is going to be a documentary depicting how outrageous the actions of the Russian government against Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich have been. It’s easy to assume it will be a one-sided argument. But in reality it’s not. Filmmakers Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin interview those who say they were offended by the actions of Pussy Riot. The history is explained, which for a Western audience is helpful.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer is an incredibly interesting and well put together documentary. While it’s obviously leaning towards the human rights abuses that have been committed against the women, it does make an attempt to explain the whole story — not just the one that’s been widely reported. The film features plenty of interviews with all the key players. With the story surrounding Pussy Riot continually evolving, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer is as timely as ever.

Corinne

In a previous life, Corinne ran a music website. After going strong for a decade, the site went on a hiatus. Consider her the antiTastemaker.