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Daring Expose’ Chronicles Gradual Dis- illusionment of Pretty Putin Protégé
“Putin’s Kiss: Film Review
By Kam Williams Press/Review Film Critic
orn outside Moscow in 1989, Masha Dra- kova is a member of
the first generation raised in Russia in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. At the impression- able age of 15, she was
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recruited to join Nashi, a political youth group cre- ated by the Kremlin to shape the country’s future leaders via a subtle form of mass mind control. Consequently, young Ma- sha soon took to heart the benign party line about the organization’s pri- marily being pro-democ- racy and anti-fascist. And within a year, the poised and pretty patriot was promoted to a top posi- tion as the student move- ment’s spokesperson. Rising through the ranks, Masha was richly re- warded during her tenure as a reliable mouthpiece, enjoying her own televi- sion talk show, as well as such perks as a car, an apartment and a college education, all paid for by the government. She also became famous as the girl
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Masha Drakova meets the Russian Presient.
who had kissed Vladimir Putin after receiving a widely-publicized peck on the cheek while accept- ing a medal from him. Totally taken with the President, Masha stated openly that he was the role model for the type of man she’d like to marry some- day, citing such virtues as his strength, charisma and intelligence. But in swal- lowing the proverbial Kool-Aid hook, line and sinker, she was blinded to the secret flaws in her idol’s persona. Truth be told, Putin was a tyrant who was simul- taneously discouraging dissent with the help of an army of henchmen comprised of Nashi zeal-
ots. His loyal goon squads were willing to advance the power-hungry Pres- ident’s agenda by any means necessary, whether that called for burning books, breaking a journal- ist’s jaw, or by pooping on a political opponent’s au- tomobile. Putin’s Kiss is a daring documentary that care- fully chronicles all of the above, along with Ma- sha’s gradual disillusion- ment with Putin and his repressive regime. The movie marks the marvel- ous directorial debut of Sweden’s Lise Birk Peder- son, an intrepid first-time filmmaker who ostensibly put herself and her brave subjects at considerable
risk to shoot such an in- cendiary story on location in such an unforgiving police state. An eye opening expose’ not to missed, which re- veals a “New Russia” that looks a lot like the “Old Russia.”
Excellent (4 stars) Unrated In Russian with subtitles. Running time: 85 minutes Distributor: Kino Lorber Films
To see a trailer for Pu- tin’s Kiss, visit: http:// www. y o u t u b e . c om/ watch?v=7rSbCJxrGMY
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