Their Own Republic by Russian director Aliona Polunina caused quite a fury at this year‘s Doclisboa due to its pro-Russian stance. The documentary nonetheless offers an interesting insight into the side of the Ukrainian conflict rarely portrayed in western media.
Carmen Gray
Carmen Gray
Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: November 12, 2018

Org: Svoya respublika)
Country: Russia, 70min, 2018

In the age of social media, it can feel as if the pressure to loudly and unwaveringly entrench oneself into the perceived ‘correct’ side of any argument has all but replaced the desire to explore and experiment with ideas through nuanced, open-minded dialogue.

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Questioning assumptions through risky curation of documentaries and debate is an embattled value that Doclisboa – co-helmed by Cintia Gil and Davide Oberto – still take seriously. This is a conviction tested this year by an unprecedented, politically motivated demand for changes to its programme by two embassies. While the Turkish embassy objected to written references to the Armenian genocide and atrocities committed against Kurds, the Ukrainian embassy requested that the film Their Own Republic, by the Russian director Aliona Polunina, should be pulled from the line-up since it did not reflect the international community’s condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Doclisboa not only resisted …

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