Olga Niwinska talks to Krystyna Kurczab-Redlich, director of The Chechens After Beslan.
Will any Russians get to see your film?
Since 1999 there has been no way to tell the whole truth about Chechnya to the Russian public. Journalists are allowed only to write about bandits and terrorists. The events occurring in Beslan on September 1st of this year were not revealed to the Russians. It has all remained a mystery. People have only been fed selected facts.
So how did you get all the information you needed to make your film?
There are two ways of obtaining them. The first one is legal. First, you have to become a journalist accredited by Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then, you can apply for the accreditation for going to Chechnya. Usually, you get it, but that still doesn’t mean that you can travel on your own. A special accompanying group organized by the presidential administration is required.
And the second way?
You use a hidden camera. Very often, it is impossible to film officially. But you have to be careful. There are Russian troops everywhere. When we were working on my previous film, there was a point when we were suddenly surrounded by them. They were going to take our camera and arrest us. After a lot of persuasion they agreed to let us go on a bribe, but they demanded that we delete what we had filmed.