Welcome to Chechnya
Searing urgency is a guiding force as Welcome to Chechnya shadows a group of activists who risk unimaginable peril to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ+ pogrom raging in the repressive and closed Russian republic. Since 2016, Chechnya’s tyrannical leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has waged a depraved operation to “cleanse the blood” of LGBTQ+ Chechens, overseeing a government-directed campaign to detain, torture, and execute them. With no help from the Kremlin and only faint global condemnation of the violence, a vast and secretive network of activists takes matters into its own hands.
With unfettered access, Academy Award nominee David France chronicles a modern-day underground railroad, using a remarkable approach to protect the anonymity of his subjects. France is the perfect filmmaker to tell this story. He’s a warrior with a camera and the ultimate purveyor of the imperative of documentary to expose atrocity and ignite change. With scorching power that will leave you quaking in your seat, Welcome to Chechnya dares to confront genocide in the making.
David France, Director/Producer
David France is an investigative journalist who has written for Newsweek, the New York Times, and New York magazine. He directed the award-winning 2017 documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson and the Academy Award–nominated 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague, which received a Peabody Award, an IFP Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and numerous festival honors. His subsequent book, How to Survive a Plague, won the Baillie Gifford Prize.