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16.03.2009

In the Holy Fire of Revolution (UK premiere). The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival

A unique take on Putinís Russia as seen through the experiences of chess champion turned activist Garry Kasparov. Garry Kasparov has just been detained for hours at an airport on his way to a demonstration. Why? The chess master has started a second life, in politics. Foreign photographers repeatedly portray him in a chess pose, head in hands, staring at a fictitious chessboard. But the game is unfair, because now his opponent is Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin systematically sabotages the activities of Kasparov and his party, The Other Russia. They are kept from the big TV stations. Peaceful demonstrations are broken up by police. Kasparov is put behind bars and is not allowed to talk to his lawyer. The film is a must-see for anyone who wants to know what Russia looks like today. Kasparov claims the influence of the KGB is immense since former KGB agent Putin became president in 2000, and the chess virtuoso thinks the country is still anything but a real democracy. Filmmaker Masha Novikova in person Presented in association with Index on Censorship www.indexoncensorship.org

The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival plays a significant role in the busy London film festival calendar as the place to see socially and politically engaged documentary and feature films from across the globe and to meet the filmmakers. From March 18-27 the respected and popular Human Rights Watch International Film Festival returns for its 13th year in London with nine days of screenings and discussions focusing on some of the most pressing stories of our times. With The Ritzy, ICA, Clapham Picturehouse and Curzon Renoir cinemas as venues the programme includes films such as Afghan Star, Back Home Tomorrow, Burma VJ, Crude, Eden is West, Endgame, Firaaq, In the Holy Fire of Revolution, Kabuli Kid, Laila's Birthday, Look Into My Eyes, My Neighbor, My Killer, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Project Kashmir, The Reckoning, Remnants of a War, Tapologo, Youth Producing Change and the On the Frontlines photo exhibit (To view the full calendar of films please vist: http://www.hrw.org/en/iff/london).

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