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19-year old Masha is a spokesperson in the government friendly and strongly nationalistic Russian youth organization, Nashi. The movement aims to protect Russia against its 'enemies'. Masha was seduced by the high energy of the movement by the age of 15 and has got a lot of benefits in return for her loyalty. But then she starts seeing a group of critical journalists. Among them is the well-known blogger, Oleg Kashin, who compares Nashi with 'Hitlerjugend'. Masha is defending her movement, but she starts recognizing how harassment and dirty provocations against the Russian opposition by 'unknown perpetrators' is going on around her. When Oleg is getting seriously beaten up and nearly dies, Masha has to take a stand for or against Nashi. Written by
OK but i'm not sure why we're watching the story of this young woman
As someone who has very little idea what the political system in Russia has been like post Communism, all i can do is remember half formed memories about Gorbechev (remember the naked gun 2 and a half?) and half read articles about Putin from the last couple of years of hastily scanned newspaper coverage, i'm definitely not the ideal guy to say if this movie was great at depicting politically motivated Russian youth. However as a movie with a story that has a beginning, middle, and an end it works OK more or less. Story follows this teenage girl through the ranks of the Nashi youth political movement (again no idea how accurate this comparison is--but it kind of strikes me as a Russian equivalent to the "young republicans" clubs that exist on college campuses and try to be all politically active here in the states--only with severe post communist fears and paranoia about "the other"--you know the whole "if you're not with me then you're my enemy" mentality and of course waay more dangerous thanks to its government sponsoring.) As a movie--the hour and a half runnning time goes by all right enough--but i'd say roughly around the halfway point my interest started to lag just a bit--once the twenty year old version of the former teenage girl starts intersecting and fully investing herself in the plight of the reporter who we've been seeing talking in interviews about her already--the movie kind of tails off in a predictable direction--which isn't a bad thing except there's still roughly a half hour or so left of movie to get through. The subject matter was interesting enough (and informative enough--its certainly something i as the cluess American know very little about, so the doc does an excellent job of giving a informal primer on the background of rhe world of its leading lady and where she comes from.)However, the end of the movie still left me wondering why this particular person was worth knowing about...or why her story was worth a documentary of its very own. At the end of the movie, the young woman certainly seems wiser about whom she'll blindly follow around politically and whom she sees as "an enemy" but most teens aren't that wise--which makes me wonder if she's supposed to be a moral lesson for other Russian youths? I suppose she is which is nice but what was I--Joe America supposed to take away from all of this? Don't be a political pawn?
5 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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