The Straits Times
Published on Jan 27, 2013

New Pussy Riot documentary uncovers story behind 'punk prayer' protest


LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - When three women of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot entered a Moscow church to perform a "punk prayer" in February of last year, little did they think their actions would land them behind bars and capture the world's attention.

A new documentary, Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week, follows the band members and their families as they struggle through the legal system in Russia.

The documentary tells the story of three women - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30 - who as members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot performed a 40-second "punk prayer" inside Russia's main cathedral on Feb 21, 2012.

Pussy Riot took on two powerful state institutions at once - the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian government - when they burst into Moscow's golden-domed Christ the Saviour Cathedral wearing bright ski masks, tights and colourful dresses to protest against President Vladimir Putin's close ties with the Church.