JOCURILE LUI PUTIN
Israel / Germany / Austria, 2013, 90'
“This is a cemetery, the most expensive one in the world,” says one of the many Russian opponents of the Sochi Olympics. “It’s your choice: You can become either an accomplice or a victim,” comments the Director of Transparency International Russia. Weeks before its opening, the Sochi Winter Olympiad is already famous as Vladimir Putin’s 50 billion pet project – a status project of colossal proportions.
In Putin's Games, Russian-born Israeli émigré Alexander Gentelev investigates Sochi as a microcosm of today’s Russia, exposing the stories of corruption and bribery, environmental degradation and human rights violations behind the Games. Former Sochi residents who lost their homes complain bitterly about the ‘Olympic bill’ passed by the Russian Parliament, which allowed any land or property needed for the Games to be nationalised. Businessmen reveal the ‘corruption tax’ paid to officials in Sochi. Opposition politicians joke that the $8 billion road to the Games venue Krasnaya Polyana must be paved with caviar. With the Russian authorities trying to stop this film’s production, and the International Olympic Committee banning the use of archived Olympic footage and even the inclusion of the word ‘Olympic’ in the film’s title, Gentelev manages a gripping investigation of a contemporary Potemkin village where builders have to fight both against nature and against other people.
19 March, 18:00, Cinema Studio
23 March, 14:00, Cinema Elvire Popesco
English, Russian, German
AWARDS AND FESTIVALS
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA, Netherlands, 2013