They Hate Me In Vain. LGBT Christians in Today’s Russia
“They Hate Me In Vain. LGBT Christians in Today’s Russia” is the first docufilm to address the reality of LGBT Christians in Russia. It was made in 2013 by Yulia Matssiy, independent Russian director and filmmaker who resides in Milan, Italy.
The film is a trip through today’s Russia where life for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people has become increasingly difficult following the 2013 law 6.21 prohibiting the so-called “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.”
The law, which claims to “defend traditional Russian families and minors from homosexual propaganda,” has in reality legitimized violence against LGBT people, promoted bullying, stifled freedom of the press and deflected attention away from the country’s real social issues.
Interviews, original footage and testimony recorded live by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Russia tell the story currently unfolding in the country. The film spotlights the current situation of LGBT Christians who a minority in the minority in Russia. They are looked upon with discomfort by the majority of LGBT people and Russian churches single them out as sinners and excommunicate them.
The film features:
• the most well-known figures in the Russian LGBT movement: Andrew Obolensky, Nikolay Alexeyev, Valery Sozaev and Yury Maximov;
• the Bishop of the autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church, Volodymyr Wilde;
• Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Pastor, Jim Mulcahy.
The film presents:
• footage of protest demonstrations held by LGBT people in Moscow;
• material from Russian language websites documenting violence against LGBT people;
• exclusive footage of the 6th Eastern European and Central Asian Forum of LGBT Christians held in Kiev (Ukraine);
• testimony from numerous Russian LGBT individuals.
The title refers to the Gospel of John 15:25. According to the official Russian Synod translation, this phrase literally means “They hate me in vain”. It reminds us that Jesus himself was persecuted for his ideas, which turned society’s accepted morals on their head.
For information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
English Title: “THEY HATE ME IN VAIN – LGBT Christians in Today’s Russia”
Italian title: “INVANO MI ODIANO – Racconto sui cristiani LGBT”
Russian Title: “ВОЗНЕНАВИДЕЛИ МЕНЯ НАПРАСНО – Рассказ о ЛГБТ-Христианах”
Genre: Documentary, Length: 66 minutes
Language: Russian/English, Subtitles: English
Director: Yulia Matssiy, Production: independent, year 2013.
Young Russian director Yulia Matsiy lives in Milan, Italy, where she graduated from NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Film & New Media. She currently works freelance with numerous ad and communication agencies. In 2012, she served on the young people’s jury at the Milan Filmmaker Film Festival.
Prizes and acknowledgements:
• “Best Subject” Prize at the Instant Movie Festival 2013 – Milano 48 ore –for the short film I’m going just for a weekend (on LGBT issues).
• Special Mention for the short film Konstantin (on LGBT issues) along with the projection of three of her short films at the festival “Tracce Cinematografiche Film Festival” in the city of Nettuno, Italy, 2013.
• Festinal Winner with the First Place Prize for 60 seconds against lesbianphobia Arcilesbica Zami, Milan, Italy, 2010.
• “Audience Choice” Award for the short film Gamble – Let’s Bet You Do It, Milan, Italy, 2010.
Her work has participated in the following festivals and cinema events: VII Rassegna SteNik 2013 (Aprilia); Camaiore Film Festival 2013 (Camaiore); Festival delle Culture Indipendenti 2013 (Rome); Horror Project Festival 2013 (Rome); Videomaker Film Festival 2013 (Casalnuovo di Napoli) G.A.L.P. Italia 2012.
Select short films are available on VIMEO and YouTube.
Contact the director or organize a viewing of her documentary “They Hate Me In Vain – LGBT Christians in Today’s Russia” by writing to: email@example.com