Solid documentary, but not a ray of hope as Mubi pitched! I had very little sympathy for Masha, she never seemed to fully grasp the gravity of the situation.
Oleg's story is quite shocking, and much more compelling. I would have been more interested in seeing a doc about him and the other leaders of the opposition.
More relevant today than when first released - "Putin's Kiss" offers an eye-opening look at Putin's Russia and his cult of personality told through the eyes of a former true believer who quickly learns that any loss of faith has consequences.
Good to learn about Nashi, though scary to see its ultra-nationalist fervor and resistance to any freedom of the press. I have a sneaking suspicion Masha has not been a victim of retaliation yet because Vasily sees her as a possible future pawn. Her split from Nashi was allowed to be amicable, but the government may still come to collect on their past financial support of her. I hope I'm wrong.
Excellent insight from an angle we don't often get to see as outsiders. Scary to think Putin still holds the reigns in Russia. Sad that the United States is following down the same path with Trump. Fucking fascists.
I must admit that I'm pretty disappointed that this documentary forgoes a more intimate examination at its subject in favor being an endorsement for a particular political perspective. Nonetheless, it's a prime example of proper cinematic storytelling, and (despite its aforementioned biases) shows considerable empathy for both sides of the debate and provides great questions to meditate on after viewing.