Films: A Bitter Taste of Freedom

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A Bitter Taste of Freedom

A Bitter Taste of Freedom

Russia, 2011, 86 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: USA
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Educational, Historical/Period, Human Rights
Programs: Documentary Films, Women + Film
Language: Russian English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Marina Goldovskaya
Producer: Marina Goldovskaya
Editor: Marina Goldovskaya, Dmitry Suschev
Cinematographer: Marina Goldovskaya
Principal Cast: Anna Politkovskaya, Mikail Gorbachev,Karinna Moskalenko, Elena Baranovskayay, Alla Bossart

The friendship of Russian filmmaker Marina Goldovskaya (Torn From the Flag, SDFF31) and outspoken journalist Anya Politkovskaya began in 1990, when the former shot a documentary called A Taste of Freedom about the latter’s husband, a renowned TV reporter. The two women remained close until the fateful night in 2006 when Anya was shot to death at the door of her Moscow apartment. Her scalding criticism of Russia's government-sanctioned war in Chechnya, A Dirty War, had infuriated many in power, and the murder remains unsolved. The truth is, Vladimir Putin himself is not above suspicion.

Goldovskaya does not try to solve the crime in this intimate portrait of her friend. Instead, she pays homage to Politkovskaya's courage through the years and examines the bloody rough-and-tumble of the new Russia, where actual democracy and a free press are still unsubstantiated rumors. Goldovskaya, who now teaches film at UCLA, mixes telling interview footage of the martyred journalist with illuminating bits from former newspaper colleagues, human rights activists, and family members. “Anya was regarded as an Iron Lady,” her younger sister says, “but she really was a dreamer.”

Politkovskaya's dream was to tell the truth in a society that avoided it. After taking dangerous risks in war zones, she was killed two steps from home. In a sound bite, Putin dismisses her: “She had no influence on politics,” he says. But tormented Chechens write poems about Anya, and when Goldovskaya trains her camera on a devastated mourner at her funeral, he says it all: “She was our conscience.”

Sponsored by Barbara Bridges Family Foundation and Caz Matthews

In cooperation with Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Pro Chapter

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