Ever since the revelations of a Russian journalist in April 2017, the abominations committed by the Chechnyan authorities against the homosexual community have been puncturing political news. In numerous countries, homosexuality is considered a crime. But the Chechnyan case is unique: individual homosexuals are not only the object of a penal incrimination, once their identity has been revealed, they disappear and “no longer exist” in the eyes of the State. In the words of Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechnyan republic and staunch supporter of Vladimir Putin: “We don’t have people like that. There are no gay people here.”
Director Jordan Goldnadel, who presented the film Happy at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2016, is today dealing with this subject. Entitled simply Chechnya, his project is garnering attention and has already been heralded by critics, having received the Human Rights Prize at the St Paul festival, awarded by Amnesty International.
The murdering madness of Chechnya is portrayed through the eyes of a young man whose lover is arrested by the national police. He himself is questioned not long after and tortured for several days. The viewer is taken right into the intimacy of a family, who contrary to what one might think, takes sides with the authorities – religion, the state – which accord no fundamental rights to homosexuals. In this way, through a story based on real life, Goldnadel denounces the denial of this sexual orientation and basic human right, which has reached intolerable levels in Chechnya.
Chechnya, a short film by Jordan Goldnadel.