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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
My issues with this film were as follows: - young people acting like idiots (destroying things, beating people up, 'vandalizing' cars, acting out for cameras, joining cult-like groups and leaving them as relationships go hot/cold) is hardly proof of any kind of conspiracy other than young people in Russia are the same as young people everywhere. And that douche-bag men with napoleon complexes will take advantage of them. - the Masha girl whose character arc was the film's arc was completely unbelievable. The tragedy of her is completely common - for a brief time when she was 16-17, she was very attractive. Men treated her well. Because she was a child, she didn't realize that she was being used. (To say she had a position of power in Nashi based on that film is ridiculous, as her power was directly linked to how much the leader wanted her around - that's not real power). As he gets tired of her, she moves on to where she can get that attention from someone else- a group of reporters from the other side (ohhhhh so extreme) (she calls them her friends while they describe her joining their group as great 'social entertainment, to see what will happen'). -She says it herself in her tips of public speaking: 'if you have to give an opinion, believe in it.' (paraphrased) she brainwashes herself to whatever role gets the attention. It's sad for her (although hardly unique). But it also undercuts any believability in this documentary. She's always posing for someone - whether for the leader of Nashi, the danish reporter, the director, or someone else - her 'conversations' are re-enacted and scripted into this role that doesn't seem any more authentic than anything else about her.
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