Over the past few years, anti-LGBTQpersecution has spiked several times in the Russian region of Chechnya, with tens of thousands imprisoned, tortured, raped, and even killed in state-sanctioned crackdowns.
Queer activists including the Russian LGBT Network have worked to highlight the so-called “purges”, and have also helped many Chechens escape. Such groups are the subject of documentary maker David France’s new film, Welcome To Chechnya.
Using hidden cameras and technology to preserve the anonymity of its subjects, the film offers an important insight into the atrocities and into the plight of those opposing the authorities.
David France has previously been nominated for an Oscar, for the 2012 film How To Survive A Plague, which documented the Aids crisis and the activists that forced it into the national conversation.
Watch the trailer for Welcome To Chechnya below. The film debuts June 30 on HBO.