Russia | 2007 | 62 minutes | Color | DVD | Russian | English subtitles | Order No. 10985
Discovering an Internet item about an annual beauty pageant staged by women inmates of UF91-9, director Maria Yatskova (born in Moscow and living in the US since the age of five) was inspired to make MISS GULAG. The film’s compelling, moving stories of survival shed light on democracy’s darker side and offer a look at the issues facing women in post Soviet Russia.
“Offers a poignant look at the lives of three young women condemned to long years of imprisonment in a bleak provincial setting, and at the problems they and their families face following the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
“A powerful portrait of contemporary Russia…Shows continuity between the world of a prison and the world outside.”
“A smashing debut by a young documentarian who discovers a unique way to investigate contemporary Russian society.”
"Highly Recommended...fascinating documentary."
“Simply one of the finest documentaries of this decade."
SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS
- Moscow International Human Rights Film Festival, Best Debut Feature
- Saratov Film Festival, Best Debut Feature
- Berlin International Film Festival
- Dallas Video Festival
- Morelia International Human Rights Film Festival
- Seattle International Film Festival
- Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival
- Silverdocs Documentary Festival
- Vienna International Human Rights Film Festival
- Warsaw International Film Festival
- ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival
Maria Yatskova was born in Moscow in 1976 and immigrated to the United States with her mother and grandmother five years later. She studied journalism in France and Belgium and film at the New School for Social Research in New York. Maria's engagement with Russian history began with her feature essay for the Associated Press surrounding the controversial remains of Russia's last Czar, which appeared in the LA Times.
More recently, her article about prison camp UF 91/9 in Siberia, titled "Crime and Beauty," appeared in the September 2006 issue of Marie-Claire magazine. The piece provided part of the vision behind her directorial debut, Miss GULAG, an official selection of the 57th International Berlin Film Festival. (8/14)
Raphaela Neihausen is the executive director of the acclaimed documentary series Stranger Than Fiction that takes place at the IFC Center, hailed as a "favorite New York documentary series" (New York Magazine) and "Best Documentary Programming" in New York (Time Out magazine). She is also executive director of the Montclair Film Festival. She worked for seven years at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), advising Fortune 100 companies on strategic growth. Neihausen produced the documentary Miss Gulag (recipient of grants from the Ford Foundation and Sundance Documentary Fund) that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and went on to be broadcast all over the world. She speaks six languages and holds a BSFS/MA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. (8/14)