Anya was an ordinary teenager who dreamed of making life in Russia better. In March 2018 she was arrested and incarcerated on charges of forming an extremist group with the aim to violently overthrow the government.
Moscow, August 2020, a group of young people are found guilty of ‘creating an extremist community’ and very publicly put on trial. The group, named ‘New Greatness’, had started off as an online chatroom where teenagers discussed politics and disagreed with the government’s anti-democratic policies – before an undercover FSB agent joined and propelled them towards radical action.
Director Anna Shishova’s eye-opening film gains intimate access to defendant Anya Pavlikova, a teenager when she joined New Greatness, now held under house arrest as an extremist. Three years on, Anya’s mother continues to fight tirelessly to prove her daughter’s innocence, as Russian youth continue to fall foul of corrupt law courts and the all-powerful FSB.
Tracing the New Greatness case, Shishova creates a chilling portrait of Putin’s Russia, bearing witness to the intensified crackdown on dissent and free expression in public life.