Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

“I realized that underneath the layers of politics, religion, and history, the story of Pussy Riot is a classic one. It is the story of a younger generation making itself heard by any means necessary.” 

– Maxim Pozdorovkin, Director & Producer

“…come join us and we can all taste freedom together.”

– Nadia, of Pussy Riot, at her trial.

Filmed over the course of six months, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, tells the incredible story of three young women: Nadia (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova), Masha (Maria Alyokhina) and Katia (Yekaterina Samutsevich).

As members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot, they performed a 40 second “punk prayer” inside Russia’s main cathedral, St Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The state’s response was swift and brutal. The performance led to their arrest on charges of religious hatred and culminated in a trial and sentence of 2 years imprisonment. Their act of defiance also reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society forever.

With unparalleled access and exclusive footage, this film looks at the real people behind their now famous colourful balaclavas.

Following the bizarre and intricate twists of the trial, filmmakers Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin filmed the three young women’s fight back against a justice system that seems impervious to logic. From their family and friends we learn what transformed these women from political activists to modern day icons. As Nadia, Masha, and Katia defend their convictions from a cage inside the courtroom, those Pussy Riot members still at liberty plan new guerilla performances and cultivate a protest movement across the globe.

Moving from farce to tragedy and back again, the film explores how political and religious forces contrived to make an example out of three young artists who stepped out of line. But with Nadia, Masha, and Katia, Russia’s ruling powers got more than they bargained for.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer will open at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on Friday, February 14th, where it will play through until February 27th. Don’t miss out on this insightful documentary. Tickets can be purchased at the Hot Docs box office, or online.