State-conjured terrorism

RUSSIA: An ordinary Russian teenager was arrested and incarcerated on charges of extremism. Three years later, the fight for her innocence continues.

A sense of dread and urgency hangs over Anna Shishova’s nail-biting The New Greatness Case, which won the IDFA Forum Award for Best Rough Cut last November and is set to world premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in NYC (May 20-26). And that includes the doc’s production along with its storyline. The cut I saw the week before the film’s debut (with temp music and VO) appeared more than ready for primetime but was also a sign of the high stakes at play. With the recent invasion of Ukraine, the tale of Anya, an ordinary teenage girl in Moscow before she was abruptly arrested and jailed for attempting to bring down the Putin regime, is as terrifyingly timely as it is patently ridiculous. Add to this the fact that the Russian director and her cinematic story are now a bit too close for comfort, as Shishova-Bogolubova initially met her protagonists while making a video for the Russian human rights organization Memorial – closed and liquidated just last month. The noose is tightening for all of Russia, to say the least.

The New Greatness Case, a film by Anna Shishova-Bogolubova
The New Greatness Case, a film by Anna Shishova


Indeed, in retrospect, Anya’s Kafkaesque experience actually reads like an omen . . .

Dear reader. To continue reading, please create your free account with your email,
or login if you have registered already. (click forgotten password, if not in an email from us).
A subscription is only 9€ 🙂

- Advertisement -

What about a subscription, for full access and 2-3 print copies in your mail a year?
(Modern Times Review is a non-profit organisation, and really appreciate such support from our readers.) 

Lauren Wissot
A US-based film critic and journalist, filmmaker and programmer.

Industry news

Celebrated Chilean production companies land in La Rochelle for 2022's Sunny Side of the DocSunny Side of the Doc, the European market dedicated to non-fiction, annually receives productions from all over the world,...
DOK Leipzig to shift focus back to in-person festival formatsDOK Leipzig will host its 65th edition in local cinemas and venues from 17 to 23 October 2022. Turning...
B2B Doc moves flagship Pitch Lab to Krakow; presents 13 new documentary projectsDue to the full-scale Russian invasion of #Ukraine, the 2022 edition of the Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network...
NEOLIBERALISM: Breaking the Brick (dir: Carola Fuentes, …)Breaking The Brick plucks us into the heat of Chile's social unrest, reliving the Chicago Boys' contentious legacy.
UKRAINE: One Day in Ukraine (dir: Volodymyr Tykhyy)A glimpse of the war as experienced by Ukrainians every day since Russian forces invaded on February 24, 2022.
DOCS: Subject (dir: Jennifer Tiexiera, …)Some of the biggest non-fiction films of the past years go under the microscope, investigating the ethics of documenting trauma.
ISRAEL: H2: The Occupation Lab (dir: Idit Avrahami, …)The story of the eastern side of Hebron, a microcosm of a conflict and a test site for control throughout the West Bank.
ABUSE: Look What You Made Me Do (dir: Coco Schrijber)Three survivors of domestic violence who have murdered their abusers are given a chance to tell their stories.
POLITICS: My Imaginary Country (dir: Patricio Guzmán)At Cannes, Patrizio Guzmán´s documentary offers one of the rare elements of hope in global politics.