A leading Russian documentarian reflects on the events that brought Putin to power, in a new film that is part personal repentance and part cautionary tale.
“[Putin’s Witnesses] is an incredible look at how a democracy dies—or is ‘killed,’ as [Director Vitaly] Mansky corrected me onstage—aided and abetted by those who can’t quite believe what they are seeing.”
The acclaimed, independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta named Putin's Witnesses director Vitaly Mansky Person of the Year.
Vitaly Mansky’s “riveting, incensed documentary… [is] a major, access-rich overview of recent history… sealing Mansky’s reputation as a docmaker of intrepid ambition and daring.”
“Putin's Witnesses draws on a strikingly intimate archive of behind-the-scenes footage … It is impossible to imagine any other director getting this much unguarded access ever again.”
“Rare insight from Vitaly Mansky, a former Kremlin propagandist, paints an extraordinary portrait of a president drawn ever deeper into dictatorship.”
“Putin’s Witnesses is the latest amazement from director Vitaly Mansky… 'Tacit concern,' as defined by Mansky, is what turns witnesses into accomplices, and the director reveals himself to be one of the most crucial witnesses of all."
"… Mansky's bigger picture about the manipulation of a nation is crystal clear... [The filmmaker also] scrutinizes his own role, and by extension, that of other everyday Russians, in building Putin's empire.”