Drama/Fantasy | 15 mins | Russian (Canada/Germany) | 2016

Written & Directed by: Blake Mawson
Starring: Alex Ozerov et al.

Pyotr495 SS.jpg

One evening in Putin’s Moscow, 16-year-old Pyotr is baited by an ultra-nationalist group known for their violent abductions and attacks on young gay men. But Pyotr isn’t as defenceless as he might appear…

Why you should watch it:

  • It’s commentary on Russia
  • The twist

A little more insight…

Pyotr495 isn’t the first, nor will it be the last, LGBT+ film which has a political message. What makes this stand out however is how intent it is from the start to make it’s point, with reference to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the restriction of LGBT+ rights.

It can be hard to distance oneself from such things and you also have to remember that everything has gone through a filter of sorts, nothing is ever truly objective – even your own accounts.

I do however remember seeing some horrific videos of young gay guys being targeted, humiliated and abused online – this is what Pyotry495 revolves around… with a twist.

Yes, this means that there are some scenes that may be upsetting to some but [spoilers ahead] when Pyotr is ‘revealed’ to be some sort of vampire/demon, the dynamic and tone shifts.

Initially I was unsure how I felt about it; are gays monsters? However thinking it through it’s more a visual representation of what the ultra-nationalists perceived them to be. What they have done is accidentally unleash the power within; someone fought back and they didn’t like it.

Yes, it’s done in a fantastical way but that allows for him to fight back without being the aggressor. “Who’s the monster here?” he quips.

Whether he is actually a vampire/demon thing or not is called into question for me when Pyotr rescues a victim from the closet. They drive off on a motorcycle but Pyotr’s face is covered.

What is real and what isn’t, in the short and in reality, is for you to decide but what is certain is that we should stand up for ourselves and for those who are powerless to do so.

Things that bugged me:

  • A 16 year-old on Hornet – tut tut tut

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