In Australian filmmaker Kitty Green’s intimate, insider portrait, FEMEN, the controversial topless female protestors of Ukraine, talk about life, danger and confronting male domination in their country.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
“Debutante Aussie director Kitty Green strips away spin and half-truths to reveal the complex story of FEMEN, the Ukrainian feminist group famous for its topless protests… The big reveal in this fascinating documentary, that FEMEN was effectively run for years by a sinister if charismatic man – Victor Svyatski, interviewed here – has already made headlines around the world… Structuring the story around face-to-face interviews with a number of the FEMEN collective’s key players, particularly longstanding members Inna Shevchenko and Alexandra ‘Sasha’ Shevchenko… Green doesn’t try to disguise how embedded she was among the women while shooting the film. Her voice, speaking fluent Ukrainian, is often heard off camera asking questions, and clearly the FEMEN-ists grew to trust her deeply over the 14 months she spent living among them. Through a mix of interviews, archival material and original footage of the women staging bare-breasted protests, Green unfolds the story of how this neo-Situationist group came together originally, aiming in the early days to combat, in particular, the Ukraine’s image as the sex-trafficking and prostitution hub of Europe.” — Leslie Felperin, Variety