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On Putins Blacklist traces the new Cold War from the ban on American citizens adopting Russian children to the Kremlins anti-LGBTQ campaign.

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1 out of 4 stars

Title
On Putin’s Blacklist
Directed by
Boris Ivanov
Starring
Justin Romanov, Ilya Ponomarev
Genre
Documentary
Classification
PG
Country
Canada
Language
English/Russian
Year
2017

Strong stuff is asserted in a Canadian documentary about the xenophobia and homophobia of Russia. "It would be nice if Russian people would not judge each other on their sexual orientation," says the young son of a lesbian mother who fled Russia. "I think if Russia had a normal president," adds a young, gay Russian émigré, "Russian people would come to be more tolerant." This just in: Vladimir Putin is an intolerant strongman and fear-mongering enemy-seeker. With On Putin's Blacklist, the B.C.-based director Boris Ivanov has a made a clunky documentary revealing nothing previously unknown. It starts out being about the heartbreak of Russian adoption laws before veering whiplash hard to the LGBTQ issue. Ivanov does a good job profiling Canadians affected by Putin's ugly policies, but his work is more human interest than hard-hitting. And by the time a bit about Putin-loving U.S. President Donald Trump is tacked onto the end of the film, most watchers will already have already made that connection.

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