In this compelling documentary, Swiss filmmaker Alain Margot chronicles the activities of FEMEN, the provocative Ukranian feminest group known for their topless protests against sexism, religious institutions, and homophobia. Their radical behavior garners them support and media attention but it also incurs governmental wrath. The women endure arrests, intimidation, beatings, and imprisonment for their noble causes.
What prompted you to do a documentary on FEMEN?
I had seen these girls protest on the Internet and I found it very brave of them to do that in Ukraine. Since not much is happening in Switzerland, I decided to live three years in Ukraine.
Did you find their tactics effective in getting their message across?
The FEMEN were able to change things in Ukraine [because] it is a country that is not democratic. As FEMEN Ukraine members had to flee to Paris, they are a little prisoner while waiting for political asylum in France. For me, FEMEN has lost its reputation since there [is not] FEMEN Europe. I made a historical film; these girls were the first fruits of this revolution in Ukraine.
What has the response been to your film?
The public has responded well to the film, because finally people understand where they come from. The Swiss public was standing after the screening, and in Odessa festival in Ukraine, too. At the Festival of Gijon in Spain, many girls asked Oxana, how to become a FEMEN [member].