HBO's 'Welcome to Chechnya' sheds agonizing light on LGBTQ genocide

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HBO's 'Welcome to Chechnya' sheds 
agonizing light on LGBTQ genocide

In Welcome to Chechnya, the third film from Academy Award nominee David France, viewers are asked to relinquish the comforts of abstraction. There’s no time for sweeping shots of foreign countrysides, or graphics placing the small Russian republic on a world map. Instead, it is immediately apparent that this is a very real, very dangerous place — one that viewers, no matter how ill-prepared in their understanding of its tumultuous history, must reckon with.

The guerilla-style documentary begins with a man on the phone. David Isteev, the crisis response coordinator for the Russian LGBT Network, is speaking with a young woman using the alias “Anya.” Anya’s uncle has discovered his niece is a lesbian. If Anya does not agree to have sex with her uncle, she says, then he will tell her father. Isteev hangs up, promising Anya, “We are coming.”  Read more…

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