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Durban Film Festival


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Attack of the deranged vaginas

How did Pussy Riot - A punk prayer escape the wrath of the SA morality police? As a member of Brics, Russia is a friend and the film is everything they don't like - offensive, deranged, undesirable and shocking. Luckily they did not apply the chop as its one of the best examples of filmmaking I've ever seen and everybody should see it.. The doccie had its African premiere on Monday - on the same day new draconian anti-gay laws and an anti-blasphemy law, aptly called the Pussy Riot law, came into effect in Russia. The director Mike Lerner warned the audience about flash photography, graphic sex and lots of loud music. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come! Pussy Riot is so much more than a punk band, it's a revolution and the film captures that brilliantly. The members of the band must be the bravest artists (freedom fighters) out there as they are taking on Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church and they continue fighting while in jail. In the film, members of the church call for the "burning of these witches". During the q&a the director said Nadia will probably be president of Russia one day. That is the impact of this band. I take my hat off to DIFF for bringing this doccie to Durban that will inspire many conversations. I can't help to think what will happen in SA if a local band starts singing "Zuma is pissing himself" or take over an Afrikaans church while protesting the relationship between the church and the state or have sex in public to protest against sexism. The film gets 10 out of 10 for its unflinching bravery. The deranged vaginas, as they were translated in Russia, will have other screenings at Blue on 24 July and Suncoast on 28 July. See it! I also saw the touching film, Sally Potter's Ginger and Rosa. It is also about protesting, albeit very different than Pussy Riot. In the film two girls growing up in 60s England protest the bomb. The performance of Elle Fanning as Ginger is outstanding when the girls' friendship is on the rocks due to a separation and infidelity. Annette Benning has a cameo. There are no more screenings at DIFF.

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