‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Director Reacts to U.S. Sanctions Against Chechen Leader

David France, the director of “Welcome to Chechnya,” can’t say for sure that his documentary played a role in pushing the U.S.

government to place sanctions on the country’s leader, but it certainly looks that way.The film, about the Chechen government’s sanctioned arrests and torture of LGBTQ people in the autonomous Russian region, premiered less than a month ago on HBO.

And just last week, on July 17, there was a virtual screening and Q&a hosted by the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, Freedom House, the Human Rights Campaign Fund and the Rainbow Railroad.Three days later, the U.S.

State Department sanctioned Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov for “gross violations of human rights.”“I was surprised because this issue has been alive for three years, and this administration has been silent about it,” France told Variety on Wednesday.

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