• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Welcome to Chechnya (2020)


Feb 23, 2021 #David France

“Welcome to Chechnya” is a 2020 American documentary film directed by . The movie explores the ongoing persecution of the LGBTQ+ community in Chechnya, a region in Russia, and follows a group of activists who risk their lives to help Chechens flee the country and seek asylum abroad. The film has a runtime of 107 minutes and is rated TV-MA for disturbing violent content, graphic nudity, and language.


“Welcome to Chechnya” is a powerful and heartbreaking documentary that sheds light on the atrocities being committed against LGBTQ+ individuals in Chechnya. The movie follows a group of activists, including Olga Baranova and David Isteev, who run an underground network to help Chechens escape the country and find asylum abroad. The film also features interviews with survivors of the Chechen government's brutal campaign against LGBTQ+ individuals, which includes torture, abduction, and murder. The movie documents the activists' efforts to navigate the complex and dangerous terrain of Chechnya, while also highlighting the urgent need for action to protect the human rights of LGBTQ+ individuals around the world.


“Welcome to Chechnya” is an urgent and powerful documentary that exposes the human rights violations being committed against LGBTQ+ individuals in Chechnya. The movie's use of deepfake technology to protect the identities of the activists and survivors is innovative and effective, and the film's pacing and narrative structure are strong. The interviews with survivors and activists are heart-wrenching, and the film's message about the importance of standing up for human rights is timely and resonant. Director has created a powerful and important work of documentary filmmaking that sheds light on a little-known but urgent human rights crisis.


“Welcome to Chechnya” has received critical acclaim and has been nominated for numerous awards, including Best Documentary at the 93rd Academy Awards. The film has also won several awards, including the Special Jury Award for Editing at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival.

Directed by
Produced by
Alice Henty
Askold Kurov
Joy A. Tomchin
Written by Tyler H. Walk
Music by Evgueni Galperine Sacha Galperine
Cinematography Askold Kurov Derek Wiesehahn
Edited by Tyler H. Walk
Public Square Films HBO Documentary Films Ninety Thousand Words Maylo Films BBC Storyville
Distributed by HBO Films
Release date January 26, 2020 (Sundance) June 30, 2020 (United States)
Running time 107 minutes
Country United States
Languages English

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