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Sundance Review: Putin’s Kiss

Score:D-

Director:Lise Birk Pedersen

Cast:Oleg Kashin

Running Time:82.00

Rated:NR

In a year where Time Magazine called "The Protester" its person of the year, it should come as no surprise that revolution films are becoming more and more common. Putin's Kiss, although technically not about a revolution, is in the same vein as films like last year's vastly superior The Green Wave. On one hand, it's certainly eye-opening. On the other, though, the film is irreparably crippled by the lack of a really gripping narrative.

Putin's Kiss follows a girl named Masha, who is heavily involved in a youth-rallying, pro-Putin organization called Nashi. As she grows concerned by the organization's methods and meets some members of the opposition, she begins to feel torn between two political leanings. Ultimately a film about the dangers of early indoctrination, Putin's Kiss is also something of a requiem for poor Masha's youth.

Putin's Kiss has more than its fair share of problems, but it's mostly guilty of painting in broad strokes. It doesn't make any sense that a smart girl like Masha would get involved in Nashi as it's portrayed here. Unfortunately, though, none of the flaws outweigh the fact that the story just doesn't go anywhere. It's hard to recommend the film to anyone but all three of you already interested in modern Russian politics.

Putin's Kiss is competing in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

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About Corey Hiscocks

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