Our New President

Our New President

Maxim Pozdorovkin | 
US/Russia |
 2018 | 
78 minutes

Did you know Hillary Clinton lost the presidency because she was cursed by a Siberian mummy? That’s the outlandish conspiracy theory that opens Maxim Pozdorovkin’s deeply troubling film. The film recounts how, over the past 20 years, Vladimir Putin has systematically eliminated and discredited Russian independent media, replacing it with a centrally controlled broadcast system that has little regard for the truth. The mummy theory isn’t fringe in Russia, it is reported by stone-faced journalists on the nation’s most popular newscast. By skillfully combining the distorted journalism of Russia’s state controlled media with the YouTube videos of regular Russians responding to the 2016 US Presidential election, Pozdorovkin reveals the mechanisms and consequences of the Russian fake news apparatus. While slick newscasters peddle stories about Clinton’s health troubles and connections to pedophile rings, we see webcam footage of everyday Russians confessing their undying love for Trump.

Mixing dark comedy with astute media critique, Our New President offers a revealing look at the potent combination of propaganda and technology in Putin’s Russia. The film touches, but doesn’t focus on, the Russian attempts to influence American public opinion—instead it shows just how thoroughly the public can be manipulated once evidence-based reporting is completely replaced with feelings and bluster. As powerful voices in Canada and the United States question the factual basis of everything from climate change to sexual assault allegations, the film may well present a chilling look into our not so distant future. -JC

Filmmaker

Maxim Pozdorovkin

Maxim Pozdorovkin​ is the director of four documentaries and multiple shorts including: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer ​(Sundance 2013 Jury Prize), and ​The Notorious Mr. Bout​ (Sundance 2014), and his documentary ​Clinica de Migrantes ​(HBO) was nominated for a 2016 IDA award. Maxim holds a PhD from Harvard University for a dissertation about early propaganda. Next, Maxim is directing How To Rob Banks for Dummies​, a hybrid documentary about cult video artist Joe Gibbons.