Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer Premieres Tonight on HBO

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by Melissa Silverstein
June 10, 2013 10:00 AM
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Nadia, Masha and Katia
If one had any doubts about the vibrancy of international feminism today, one need only watch the new documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer which premieres tonight on HBO to have those doubts fully allayed.  The film tells the story of three young women Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Nadia) Maria Alyokhina (Masha), Yekaterina Samutsevich (Katia) who were arrested in the wake of the band's 30 second protest against the Russian government in Moscow's Christ the Savior church in 2012.  

These women are part of a group that began their band on the day that President Putin -- who they believe is a dictator -- took over Russia again.  They are leading the charge and are at the forefront of the political conversation in Russia today.  They pushed the envelope in their desire to "change humanity to free society from stereotypes and prejudices" and offended many with their display in the church.  The people they offended were able to stand up as witnesses in their trial and two of the women -- Nadia and Masha -- are now serving two years hard time in a gulag. Being offended is enough to send these young women to jail.

These women are standing up for their beliefs.  For the belief that there should be a separation between church and state.  For the belief that there should be a government accountable to the people.  They have been been made examples by a government that wants to shut down dissent.  The term they used to describe them is "demons."  But these are amazing women willing to give up their freedom because it is the right thing to do, because it is the necessary thing to do.

Through their actions they have spawned a movement, and have shown the world what is going on in Russia.  They are true heroes, leaders and revolutionaries.  They are beyond impressive in their resolve.  This film is a true lesson on activism and it beyond inspirational.  I loved Pussy Riot before I saw this.  I love them even more now.

Pussy Riot Takes Manhattan, Quietly (NY Times)

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