Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer is a documentary co-directed by Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin that follows the Russian feminist punk collective best known for their infamous concert at St. Christ Church in Moscow, which resulted in three members sentenced to imprisonment in a penal colony. The film takes a similarly forward-thinking, amalgamate form to communicate the principles of the collective, the cultural context and six months of the band’s saga.

Lerner has been producing documentaries for twenty-five years, including the Oscar-nominated film, Fell and Back Again (2011). Pozdorovkin’s first film, CAPITAL, investigated a planned “utopian city of the future” in Kazakhstan, and he helped curate the award-winning Landmarks of Early Soviet Film DVD set released by Flicker Alley.

We joined Max and Mike at Toronto’s Bar Neon to discuss the fortuitous moment when making a documentary film, how the film’s form was impacted by the unique circumstance of this story, and the court case as a farcical, gender inverted version of the Russian Revolution.

 

 

This interview was published in September of 2013.