Femen: all a sham?

A new doc alleges that a man masterminded the feminist group. Does that actually matter?

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FEMEN at Barbie Dream House
May: Femen Femen protests Mattel's life-sized pop-up of the Barbie Dream House in Berlin Reuters

They've protested the Olympics, invaded Notre Dame Cathedral and set up feminist training camps in France. But according to a "Ukraine Is Not A Brothel", a new documentary premiering this week at the Venice Film Festival, radical feminist organisation Femen was actually founded by a man – Victor Svyatski, previously identified as a consultant to the group.

Since its formation in 2008, the group has come in for its fair share of criticism, with accusations of Islamophobia and female objectification. In five years, Femen has evolved into a global organisation, protesting everything from a life-sized pop-up of the Barbie Dream House to Turkish president Tayyip Erdoğan's stance on Islam.

So the question is, can a worldwide protest movement really come down to one man pulling the strings? Or is Femen bigger than that? 

We track the global rise of Femen in 2013, from its support of the gay marriage bill in France to the appearance of Victor Svyatski. Watch the trailer, look at the gallery and make your own mind up.     

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