Documentary Exploring Russia's Darkest Secret
to Premiere at Sundance Film Festival

MOSCOW, - A fatal bomb blast in a Moscow apartment building
ignites a fury of questions about terrorism, shadow politics, and
post-Soviet intrigue in Disbelief, a
documentary by Andrei Nekrasov, to debut at the 2004 Sundance Film
on January 16.

The bombing in September 1999 of a nine-story working-class apartment
complex in Moscow was quickly blamed on Chechen terrorists. But was
it their crime? Or did the Russian secret service deflect its own
responsibility for the attack on the Chechens to heighten national
fear and hysteria and help Vladimir Putin win the 2000 presidential

Shown through the eyes of two Russian-American sisters whose mother
was killed in the blast, the story of the bombing unfolds with the
suspense and drama of a sophisticated murder mystery. Confronted with
evidence of official conspiracy unearthed by an investigative
reporter, the sisters embark on a journey in space in time to seek
the truth about the most controversial episode of the war on terror.

Shot in cinema veritÎ style in Milwaukee, Moscow, Denver, Washington,
London and the Ural Mountains, and skilfully intercutting archive
footage, news flashes and home videos the film chronicles the agony
of a devastated family swept up in the high-stake politics of the age
of global terrorism. The original soundtrack drawing on the authentic
folk tradition as well as the most eloquent of contemporary Russian
rock music contributes with measured confidence to the overall
emotional impact of the film.

The political context of the story has troubled the film's director
for some time. "Over 40% of the Russians believe that the government
was complicit in the bombing", - said Nekrasov - "I have been
following the controversy from the very first day and I tried to
imagine how the survivors and relatives of the victims felt,
suspecting their own government. Yet I also knew that most survivors
in Moscow were afraid to talk about their suspicions. Then I learned
about two sisters in America whose mother was killed. The experience
of making Disbelief was overwhelming. I learned the classic meaning
of tragedy: through a documentary."

Andrei Nekrasov studied filmmaking in his native St. Petersburg and
later in England. He directed a number of documentaries for British
TV, as well as two award winning feature films. His "Lubov and Other
Nightmares" (2001) won recognition at the Sundance and Berlin
festivals and confirmed his status as a rebel among Russian
filmmakers. In "Disbelief" the director revisits the documentary
genre to deal with a political subject he considers to be vitally

The Sundance Film Festival is universally regarded as the foremost
showcase for independent films. The 2004 program was selected from
thousands of entries from around the world.

Contact for interview with Andrei Nekrasov: