Filmmaker Kitty Green on exposing Femen

Australian filmmaker Kitty Green's documentary Ukraine is Not a Brothel reveals the true story behind Femen.
Australian filmmaker Kitty Green's documentary, Ukraine is Not a Brothel, reveals the true story behind Femen. (Alexey Perkin)

You can either listen to Jian's chat with Australian filmmaker Kitty Green by clicking on the listen button, or watch it below the article.

Jian speaks with Australian filmmaker Kitty Green about her experience interviewing members of the controversial Ukrainian protest group Femen. The feminist organization, perhaps best known for its topless activism, was the subject of Green's new documentary Ukraine is Not a Brothel.

The film reveals unsettling details about the group's early days under the leadership of a man named Victor Svyatski. It was a revelation that troubled Green as she watched Svyatski, whom she described as "an egomaniac," scream at the young women and enforce rules preventing less attractive women from participating in public rallies.

"He's a scary guy," she said.

The contradiction was startling to Green.

"He would be quite abusive to them, screaming at them, and in the morning they'd be there holding these banners saying this is the new feminism," she said.

"I was probably there for about four months before I really understood exactly what his role was and the power he had over the girls," Green said. "He really did make all the decisions while I was there."