Lise Birk Pedersen • Denmark, U.S. • 2011
Before Nashi, teenage Masha had a pretty average middle-class life in Russia. At 16 she joined the democratic, anti-fascist and anti-oligarch-capitalist political youth movement, working her way up to leadership roles and eventually becoming the host of a state-funded television program. Over time, however, Masha forms friendships with other journalists, including Kremlin-critic Oleg Kashin, who surfaces one day brutally beaten. Cracks begin to form as her ideology, so certain in youth, is called into question.
Capturing the idealism and disenchantment of youth, Putin’s Kiss offers an unconventional glimpse inside the politics of contemporary Russia. Lise Birk Pedersen's first documentary premiered at IDFA - Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, Istanbul, Hong Kong and Sundance, where it won Best Cinematography - Documentary.