“Pursuing justice in this country can destroy you.”
The Murder of Anna Politkovskaya is both a movie screenplay and a play I have written on the dramatic true story of one female journalist’s fight for justice in Putin’s Russia – and the cost of that dream.
This exciting and chilling political drama follows Anna Politkovskaya, the famous Russian journalist and human rights activist, and her unravelling of a Kremlin conspiracy to infiltrate Chechen terrorist groups to provoke attacks on Russian citizens to bolster support for the new President Putin – a strategy known as ‘false flag’ attacks.
This work, and Anna’s increasing opposition to President Putin’s crushing of democracy in Russia, is believed to be a major factor in her assassination in Moscow in October 2006. Her murder remains unsolved.
With its themes of justice and self-sacrifice, The Murder of Anna Politkovskaya forces us to examine what price we truly are prepared to pay for freedom of speech and speaking truth to power.
Moscow 2006 and Anna Politkovskaya, Russia’s most famous journalist, is shot dead at point blank range outside her apartment. Her shocking murder causes a storm of protest. How is it possible that a murder could happen in broad daylight on the streets of Moscow? And who killed her? And why?
Five years earlier and Russia is a country at war. The war in Chechnya is brutal and violent. No-one wants to be there; it’s too dangerous to report on. But whilst others have fled, Anna Politkovskaya has remained.
Anna’s exposés on the massacres and grotesque human rights violations committed by the Russian Army may be winning her awards but they’re not winning her friends. These are not stories the Kremlin wants ordinary Russians to hear. Putin is the new man at the top. He wants a strong Russia run by a strong leader – and Anna’s work is not part of that picture.
Anna may be passionate about her reports but her two children are concerned about the increasing threats being made on their mother’s life. It’s a concern shared by Anna’s Editor, Dimitri. Anna’s bold and controversial reports are important pieces of journalism but at what price?
Suddenly Chechen terrorists seize control of a Moscow theatre, holding hundreds of people hostage. Anna is dragged in to mediate but the stand-off ends in disaster when hundreds die after the Russian Army storms the theatre.
Anna starts to pick apart the evidence of the attack, pulling back the curtain on a secret and dangerous world of espionage, double agents and terrorists. Her work is dangerous and her sources, are they reliable? Presidential hopefuls, oligarchs loathed by Putin and Russian security service agents on the run… Can these men be trusted?
The Kremlin is also not standing still. The news channels are being shut down and journalists threatened. These are no longer times to not be toeing the party line.
And the net is shrinking. Whoever Anna speaks to ends up dead, poisoned or jailed. Somebody is silencing the talkers. And they are coming after Anna. What has Anna discovered? And will she be able to reveal the truth before the silencers get to her too?