■ Part of the audience at Moscow
Film Center on Saturday for the premiere of the Moscow Pride
MOSCOW, November 27, 2007 (GayRussia.ru)
– The documentary “Moscow Pride ‘06” had its world premiere at the National
Film Center. It was screened to more than 60 guests.
The premiere was exactly six months
after the first Moscow International LGBT Pride Festival, held between May
25 and 27 and attended by 120 delegates from 20 countries.
The movie looks at the Nordic
festival, the Russian gay cultural contest, Merlin Holland’s lecture on his
grandfather Oscar Wilde and the IDAHO Conference (International Day Against
The 84-minute documentary also
focuses on the trouble around The Kremlin and Moscow city Hall when
participants gathered to protest the ban on the Pride march – and the
Tverskoy Court decision to uphold the Mayor’s decision.
“We are proud because this movie is
an important work that will stay in history,” said Nikolai Alekseev, Moscow
“It’s the first long documentary
that deals with LGBT issues which took place in Russia. This is a living
testimony that will be distributed in Russia and abroad,” he added.
After the movie, LGBT activists who
organised this year’s Moscow Pride discussed their preparations for next
They were joined by other activists
who plan to take part next year. Among them, were activists from Nasiliu
“There were half a dozen of us who
organised this year’s event – and already we have three times the number for
next year,” Mr. Alekseev said.
“I am happy to see that a new
generation of activists has emerged.
“Conformism and passivism are now
behind us. We managed to generate passion and hope this finds its way into
the hearts of many LGBT people in Russia and to revive the spirit of
activism,” he added.
Vlad Ortanov, former editor of
Argo, one of the oldest gay magazines in Russia, described the movie as
“a great human historical document that will say a lot to the future
And Nikolai Khramov, leader of the
Russian Radicals, the first political movement to support the Moscow Pride,
insisted that “this movie shows that there was something strong behind the
gay pride and not only a desire of a few people to go in the streets”.
It was not just gay activists who
were in the audience at the premier on Saturday – heterosexuals also
“Now, I understand what happened in
Moscow and why they organized this action, commented a pensioner Tamara B –
she asked that her full name not be used.
“But unfortunately, in the current
political climate in Russia, the majority of the population will never see
it as it will be ignored by local TV,” she added.
Alexander, 21, gay but not activist
said: “My friend and I wanted to take part to the parade but unfortunately,
we did not know where to go and so we missed it. Now we know what was
Eugenia Debryanskaya, described
Moscow Pride 2006 as “historical – an event that will stay in history
forever”. Ms. Debryanskaya, leader of Russian lesbian movement, was
arrested in front of Moscow City Hall on the day of the pride.
“I am very proud that I took part
in this event,” said film director Vladimir Ivanov after the premiere of the
movie. With this premiere of Moscow pride documentary he was celebrating
not only his 60th Birthday but also a 35-year career in the Russian film
Organisers wanted this movie to
give a very accurate picture of what happened during the festival. But it
also shows some of the homophobic attacks against one of Moscow gay clubs
three weeks before the Pride.
Ironically, the film ends with the
reporting of the Russian and foreign media on the evening after the pride.
The Moscow Council-controlled TVC
mentions the statements from Moscow Mayor’s press-secretary Sergei Tsoi:
“Nothing happened and everything is quiet in Moscow today”. Yet the footage
screened worldwide and shot by RTL, Euronews, BBC, RTVi, and CNN crews show
the attacks against gays and mass disorders organized by the nationalists
that local militia is unable to prevent near the walls of the State Duma.
Among the audience at the premier
were journalists from RTL and ZDF.
“We have succeeded in bringing the
subject of homosexuality into homes through the media,” said Nikolai Baev,
on of the Pride organisers.
“The coverage was maybe not always
of the high level that we would like to see, but many people who ignored the
word ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ until last now know what it is.”
Project GayRussia.Ru celebrated its
18th month of existence on November 17 – the Project was born with the first
International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th 2005. But it
has already proved that Russia is no different from any other Eastern
European country when it comes to LGBT rights.
The movie shown on Saturday will be
shortly released on DVD, and distributed to all major human rights
organizations. It will also be part of the complaint by Moscow Pride
organisers to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Project GayRussia.Ru has already
released a short 12-minute documentary about the violent attacks against
pride participants in the streets of Moscow on May 27. This ‘short’ movie
has already been screened in Turin, London, Strasbourg, Montreal, Portland
■ Some of the activists and
attended Saturday's premiere.