Film Director Critical of Warm Welcome Given to Pussy Riot ({{commentsTotal}})

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Film director Aljona Surzhikova spoke out today against inviting the former members of the Russian members of punk band Pussy Riot to Tallinn Music Week, calling it “spitting in the face” of local Russians. 

Talking to a correspondent of rus.err.ee, Surzhikova asked rhetorically if the organizers of Tallinn Music Week knew Estonian population was "10 percent Lutheran" and 16 percent Orthodox, alluding to the band's controversial "punk prayer" in a Moscow cathedral that resulted in three members of the band being imprisoned for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

Surzhikova said that inviting “some political provocateurs” is "strange and unpleasant" for many people in Estonia and among her Russian friends, the general mood is that “it is yet another blow against them, spitting in the face of Russians in particular."

She also criticized the high-level welcome the band members receive, alluding to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who has been vocal in his support for the band.

“I am a mother of two and I am ashamed that the president, who speaks English, has the audacity to say the name of the group out loud,” she said, adding that it drives a wedge between Estonians and Russians.

On Friday, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves officially opens the festival and Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who arrived on Wednesday, will take part in a discussion on musicians against totalitarian rule.



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