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Film Review: “On Putin’s Black List” (2017) ★★★★


 

Let me start my review by asking one simple question – how much do you know about kids raised in an orphanage or in a poor family in Russia? I will honor any answer, whether we agree or disagree with our opinions. However, one thing I know for sure – North Americans do not know much about contemporary Russia and what you hear on the local news portrays only a part of the whole story. The documentary “On Putin’s Blacklist” directed by Canadian filmmaker Boris Ivanov is a proof that a lot is happening in the country we do not know much about.

We’ve all heard about infamous ‘Russian propaganda’. One would compare it to a king that lives long and influences many. And, a big part of that propaganda is the agitation against the North American lifestyle – spreading hatred and planting an idea off an awful like in the land of freedom. Human rights are a privilege in Putin’s Russia. The Law belongs to the rich who support the regime. Yet, the main focus of this film is the lives impacted by Putin’s politics. In this documentary, Ivanov explores Putin’s decision to prohibit the adoption of Russian orphans by American families. These children become part of the mentioned blacklist. It’s an insane story that will leave you cringing your seats and sober you up throughout the film.

The documentary starts with children being adopted by an American family. It is touching to hear Masha, Serge or other Russian-born kids who were adopted by Western parents and were fortunate enough to grow in a loving family. What you hear from them absolutely contradicts what is being shown on propaganda TV, which will leave you puzzled with one question: “why hate your own people, when you can love them?” Unfortunately, we won’t find an answer in when it comes to Putin and his ideology. “On Putin’s Black list” offers a terrifying picture of the ongoing horrors that occur in Russia, where the xenophobic mood and anti-American attitude is the best product to sell in order to control their own people.

In conclusion, it was totally unexpected to see how shockingly truthful “On Putin’s Black list” was. It intellectually criticizes the system, provides an insight to the current disastrous situation in Russia, the manipulation of facts that is taking place all the time, or even, collude with their countries, in their own way. In fact, Boris Ivanov as a director does not go back and forth. With his clear agenda, he unfolds the cards one by one, leaving no hidden questions or assumptions, so you can do your own analysis in case if you wish to continue educating yourself even more, after watching this film.

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1119 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

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