The film follows the investigation of a human rights lawyer that uncovers dangers and threats on today’s Russian press.

Facing fierce political and economic pressure, Russia’s few remaining independent journalists risk their lives to expose organized crime and government corruption. The film examines the industrial city of Togliatti, whose main automobile factory is allegedly run by corrupt oligarchs and where killings attributed to organized crime occur nearly every week. In 2002, Valery Ivanov, editor in chief of the Togliatti Observer, the city’s only independent newspaper, was shot to death after reporting on local corruption. Eighteen months later, Alexei Sidorov, Ivanov’s successor at the newspaper, was stabbed to death. This film reports on the risks that journalists run in modern-day Russia and explores the tangled web of wealth, power, and politics that defines Russia today.

Just days after Sidorov’s murder, Russian authorities arrested Russia’s richest man, oil mogul Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The manner of his arrest – masked FSB men stormed his aircraft – led many to believe this was the beginning of a new authoritarianism in Russia. The film shows journalists at the Moscow-based ‘Novaya Gazeta’ newspaper, one of the very few national media outlets still critical of the government, battling the authorities, powerful businessmen and a corrupt judicial system in their fight to maintain a critical voice in Russia. The film observes Novaya Gazeta journalists (including Anna Politovskaia) investigating the severe beating of a colleague, suing the FSB for information about a ‘disappeared’ civilian in Chechnya, and interviewing the father of glasnost’, former president Mikhail Gorbachev, giving his views on the state of affairs in Putin’s Russia.

Paul Jenkins

After leaving Stonyhurst College in 1983, Paul Jenkins studied Russian language and history at the University of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

On graduating in 1989, he worked as a researcher and producer with the BBC on films including A Town called Kozarac (Channel 4 Dispatches, 1993), Russia’s Deep Secrets (BBC Horizon, 1995) and A Cry from the Grave (1999, 105’, directed by Leslie Woodhead).

Following the Srebrenica film, Channel 4 True Stories commissioned Jenkins in 1999 to direct Soldat, an award-winning 90-minute investigative documentary about bullying in the Russian army.

For the next seven years, Jenkins made a series of films for British and international television, Slaves of the Sword, on Israeli generals from Moshe Dayan, the award-wining film The Russian Newspaper Murders and a series for the BBC on Al Qaeda five years after 9/11.

Since 2007 Jenkins has lived and worked in Paris, directing feature-length documentaries including 1917, The Russian Revolution and Body Hunters, a documentary investigation into the subcontracting of pharmaceutical clinical trials in India.

He is currently in post-production on a documentary film about climate change – The Warning: How Intelligence and Science Met Climate Change.


until January 1st, 2011


BBC4 Storyville – Arte France (France- Germany) HRT (Croatia) SRTV (Romania) MEDIACENTAR SARAJEVO PLANETE (France) TVC (Catalonia) RAI SAT (Italy) Bosnia Estonia Latvia ERT (Greece), Malta, ARTV


THIRTEEN (PBS – New York) : Wide angle – CBS NEWS (USA) Canada


French speaking Africa,


EBS (South Korea) MICO (Japan)