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Screening of film blocked

on December 29, 2013 1:09 AM

The first public screening in Russia of a documentary about the activist group Pussy Riot was canceled by the government at the last minute Saturday, organizers said.

“Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” was to have been screened in Moscow today, less than a week after two members of the band were released from prison.

Their two-year sentence, on charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral, was commuted under an amnesty from the Kremlin on Monday.

But on Saturday, directors of the Gogol Center, a state-financed theater, received a call from the authorities threatening their jobs if they screened the documentary, said Maxim Pozdorovkin, who directed the film with Mike Lerner. A letter from the Culture Department in Moscow formally banning the screening followed.

— New York Times News Service

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