Putin's Kiss

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Putin's Kiss
Putins kiss.jpg
Directed by Lise Birk Pedersen
Produced by Helle Faber
Starring Oleg Kashin
Masha Drokova
Cinematography Lars Skree
Edited by Janus Billeskov Jansen, Steen Johannesen
Release date
  • January 19, 2012 (2012-01-19)
Language Russian

Putin's Kiss is a 2012 documentary, directed by Lise Birk Pedersen, about Russian youth activist Masha Drokova and her experiences with the youth organisation Nashi.


Putin's Kiss presents, through interviews and archival footage, Masha Drokova's experiences in Russian youth organisation Nashi, which declares itself to be a democratic, anti-fascist, anti-'oligarchic-capitalist' movement. From the age of 16 through to 19 she is heavily involved in the organisation, working her way up into a position of influence and authority, eventually becoming the host of a youth oriented, state funded television program. She idolises Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the film's title refers in an incident in which, while receiving a medal from him, Drokova spontaneously hugged and kissed him.

As the film goes on, Drokova becomes friends with several other journalists, many of whom are critical of the Russian ruling party. Her views are called into question and she becomes increasingly torn between the two. The situation reaches a head when her friend and fellow journalist Oleg Kashin is violently beaten; though his attackers are never identified, it is speculated by many that they were working for the Kremlin in some capacity. By the end of the film, though Drokova remains an ardent supporter of Putin, she is no longer a member of Nashi, and she is shown discussing her views freely with Kashin.


Putin's Kiss won the World Cinema Cinematography Award in Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.[1] It was pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest's MeetMarket in 2009. It has received mixed reviews, and holds a rating of 52 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic.[2] OpenDemocracy.com refers to it as "a complex tale of inner conflict"[3] and the New York Post said that it was "more than just the portrait of a naive young woman...it’s a frightening look at Putin’s warped version of democracy."[4] Time Out New York afforded the film 2 out of 5 stars, saying that "Lise Birk Pedersen's doc offers some compelling peeks into Russia's bureaucratic skulduggery, but her attempt to frame the situation through a young convert's coming of age never really coheres. Innocence was lost; so, apparently, was much of the insightful commentary."[5]


  1. ^ Kissing Vladimir Putin, on film CNN, 5 April 2012
  2. ^ Putin's Kiss at Metacritic
  3. ^ Bernas, Frederick (23 March 2012) "Kiss and run: documentary casts fresh light on pro-Putin youth movement", Open Democracy, accessed October 10, 2012
  4. ^ V.A. Musetto (February 17, 2012) "No free love in Russian ‘Kiss’ doc", New York Post, accessed October 10, 2012
  5. ^ Fear, David (February 14, 2012), Putin's Kiss, accessed October 15, 2012

External links[edit]