June 5, 2013 – The punk rock, activist "art collective" Pussy Riot is the focus of a new film by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorvokin titled "Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer". The documentary explores what is really going on with the arrest and jailing of three women in Russia, who were merely exercising the right of free speech. The film has had great reviews and acceptance, and won a World Cinema Jury Prize from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film is a six-month journey into the lives of the three women, Nadya, Masha and Katia and their ordeal with the Russian justice system facing charges of "hooliganism" after performing a 40-second free speech action at the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. The church lobbied heavily with the Putin government to come down hard on the girls, and they all 3 ended up with prison time. Their predicament has garnered worldwide attention, and has sent shock waves reverberating through Russia.
Nadya has been freed on appeal, but the other two remain jailed. In fact, there is a new law unofficially called the "Pussy Riot Law" that just passed, that will make the penalties even stiffer if someone else tries this in the future. The new "Pussy Riot Law" calls for one year in jail and a fine of $300,000 rubles ($9,400 US) for "public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed with intent to offend the religious feelings of the faithful." If one does it in a house of worship, the penalties get even worse.
Check out an interview with the filmmakers on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other night below (fast forward to end), the direct link is here. Also, check out the movie's website here to see the trailer and learn more about the film. Apparently Vladmir Putin likes Dire Straights, so we need to get Mark Knopfler to come out in support of the girls and say, "Free Pussy Riot!", and maybe Putin will pardon them. So Mark, please come out in support of freeing Pussy Riot!