PROD/SCR/CAM/ED Andrei Gryazev
PROD CO Andrei Gryazev Productions / This-and-That
Before Pussy Riot, there was Voina (War), an anarchist avant-garde Russian art collective given to acts that frequently and flagrantly break the law. They’ve been a persistent thorn in Putin’s side since the group’s formation in 2007, and Andrey Gryazev’s immersive documentary on these political provocateurs—as raw cinematically as the group it depicts is socially—more than shows why.
Gryazev (whose documentary Miner’s Day was nominated for a Russian National Film Award in 2010) gained round-the-clock access to the leaders of the group, known as "Vor" (Thief), a bearded bear of a man, and "Koza" (Goat), his more delicate partner. They live underground, raise their incredibly game one-year old son Kasper (many might say, "on the edge of disaster") and carry out their "art actions"—which range from tipping over police cars to a final, rather monumental piece that is too funny to ruin by speaking about here—under cover of the night and with the help of their fellow agitators. Gryazev is there in the dilapidated apartment Vor and Koza share with other members, and he is there when Vor is caught and imprisoned. It is said, by the federal prosecutor’s office no less, that Voina has 3,000 followers throughout Russia, all of them harbouring the hope for a better tomorrow…
"An oddly stirring, gripping and thought-provoking piece of work about a group of artists… whose art-actions have exposed them to arrest and beatings, and attracted the support of fellow artists from Brian Eno to Banksy."—Screen