On Putin's Blacklist
Sea to Sky | BC Spotlight
Vancouver director Boris Ivanov brings us this engaging and timely tour d’horizon of the oligarchic gangster-state that is Russia and her intimidating place in the world today. At the time of this writing, the depth of the influence of Vladimir Putin and his minions on the 2016 US election has not been fully revealed, but all indications are that it was profound and effective. Through Ivanov’s eyes we observe the wounded pride of Russians as the Soviet Empire crumbles, the privatization of massive national industries and the new social order that then comes into being. The jingoistic xenophobia born out of an increased dependence on foreign investment makes patriotic heroes and billionaires of ruthless but homegrown moguls. Masterful propaganda and demonization of the "other" result in institutionalized racism and an entrenched culture of disdain for the West, which is not diminished by the buffoonery of the Trump administration. Ivanov’s deep Russian roots inform his documentary as he brings us up to speed on the shameful adoption crisis, state-sanctioned hacking of the Internet and the heartless treatment of LGBTQ citizens.