At Thursday's Broadway Centre screening of film maker Lise Birk Pedersen's "Putin's KIss," in the World Cinema Documentary Competition, only production manager Sergey Brovkin was in attendance to answer audience questions.
• Despite the film showing brutal crackdowns on people and journalists who dared oppose Putin's rule, Brovkin told the crowd that his country was a great one, and that people should come and visit. "Journalists don't get killed every day," he insisted.
• One audience member asked if a surveillance-camera-captured beating was staged. Brovkin said it wasn't. "Do you think we'd find an actor for that?" he said of the person being beaten so severely that he was rushed to the hospital and almost died.
• The film depicted buses of pro-Putin supporters being bused in from the rural areas to show their (questionable) support for the ruling government. One audience member asked where the money for the buses came from. Brovkin replied that it was the Russian taxpayers who were left with the bill. "Imagine if Occupy was funded by your money," he said.
— David Burger
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