A new short film has been made with the aim of raising awareness on the alleged persecution of gay men in the Russian region of Chechnya.
“Unchechen”, a three-minute short film, tells the story of interrogation and torture of Khamzat a public servant working for the census.
The film, featuring only two characters, is entirely based on accounts provided by some of the men who have escaped.
The short film was preceded by a stage version, commissioned by theatre collective Take Back, performed in Manchester earlier this month.
The audience reaction was so strong that a film version was made for the piece to be seen by a wider audience.
Stephen M Hornby, writer and director of “Unchechen”, said: “The State organised extermination of gay men in Chechnya is a horrific ghost from World War Two. But it’s real.
“The men fleeing from it are too terrified to go on camera, and so I wanted to try to fill the silence with something that attempts to make this crisis real and human.
“This is an emotional story to connect people to what’s happening and hopefully stimulate a response.”
For this reason the film, produced by digitalSTAGE and award-winning Inkbrew Productions, is available to be seen for free on the streaming platform VIMEO.
‘Unchechen’ also deals with the families’ behaviour towards gay men in Chechnya.
“Before we release them we show their fathers the pictures and messages his son has been sending, it is enough,” the father, played by Martin Green said.
In Chechnya homosexuality is regarded as a stain for the family and many relatives kill the gay person to wash it away.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has agreed to investigate the matter after denying any reliable information on the situation.
This announcement was made after he was urged to take action by international authorities including the US, UK, UN and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Watch ‘Unchechen’ here:
To help gay men escaping from Chechnya the filmmakers wish that people would donate here.