Now its American premiere will again place a much-needed international spotlight on Putin and his state-sanctioned homophobia.
LGBTs in Russia have "never been so under siege," says Steele, "and so hunted." Attacks on LGBT have risen; public feeling — encouraged by Putin and the authorities — is hostile towards them.
His particular focus is lesbian and gay teachers, and their supporters, who he does not want near children. We watch as he and his friend Dimitri head off to a lesbian and gay film festival.
Instead of pushing them out of Russia, we should make them take their own lives.""We offer heterosexual therapy, we offer beautiful friendship," they shout at two lesbians walking into the film festival.There is so little for LGBTs in Russia anyway — they cannot demonstrate together, any gathering can be disrupted like this, hook-ups online could be vigilantes looking to beat you up — that it comes as little surprise when a fake bomb threat, called in to the film festival, destroys that evening's meager opportunity for gathering together and entertainment.The police and authorities are on their side, after all. Is he preaching tolerance, offering LGBTs a safe space?No, for him gay marriage is "a sign of the apocalypse.”"Even cattle don't engage in this," he says of gay sex.As with most bullies, it's never one-on-one: these supposedly big, butch straight Russian men need a group of accomplices to torture just one gay man.
In one video, a Human Rights Watch researcher tells us, they force a gay man to rape himself with a bottle.Timor is overjoyed at the malign trouble he and his friends have caused.The security guards at the festival only turn on him and his mates when the men insult their own masculinity.Steele's film opens in the middle-class home in St Petersburg of a man named Timor.He seems so gentle with his 7-year-old son, that it comes as a surprise to discover he is a ringleader of a group of vicious bigots called Parents of Russia who "expose" gay people on the Internet, with banners across their faces to have them fired from their jobs.This harrowing film, narrated by Matt Bomer, takes the viewer into modern-day Russia and the state of siege its LGBT citizens exist under.