The 14th Annual Cinema Eye Honors Coming in March 2021

Welcome to Chechnya

Directed by David France Produced by David France, Alice Henty, Askold Kurov and Joy Tomchin

Network Producers HBO

here are no gay men in Chechnya, if we are to trust the words of the man who leads the volatile Russian republic. “To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.” Over the past three years, Ramzan Kadyrov’s government has rounded up, tortured, and killed the republic’s LGBT+ residents. In response to this terrifying development, a group of Chechen citizens band together to form an underground network that ushers LGBT+ community members out of the region and to safety. In Welcome to Chechnya, director David France embeds with these brave activists to document their harrowing rescues and elaborate handoffs, high risk efforts in which a simple mistake—contact with the wrong government official, the misplacement of a SIM card—could end in disaster. France’s vital, present-tense film is essential, not only for showing that this contested genocide is very much real but also for tenderly capturing the love that, despite the terror, still flourishes among Chechnya’s LBGT+ residents. – True/False