SXSW Film: ‘Ukraine Is Not A Brothel’

Kitty's Green's 2013 documentary Ukraine Is Not A Brothel has timeliness and titiillation on its side.

It's not only that it's about protestors making a statement against the exploitation of women in the former Soviet republic that is now the world's tensest hotpot. It's about Femen, the women known for baring breasts in public to protest prostitution in the sex trafficking center of Eastern Europe who have made headlines in recent weeks with anti-Putin protests around the world. 

Green's movie is disappointing in that it doesn't spend all that much time showing or telling us about the situation on the ground in Ukraine. You don't come away feeling all that much more geopolitically informed than before the movie started. 

You do, however, learn a lot about the determined women of Femen like Inna Shevchenko and eventually, the mystery man, Victor Svyatski, who turns out to be the patriarch behind the radical opposers of the patriarchy.  (And admits on camera that he started Femen in part to meet girls.)


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The mission of the "FEMEN" movement is to create the most favourable conditions for the young women to join up into a social group with the general idea of the mutual support and social responsibility, helping to reveal the talents of each member of the movement.

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