David France Russia France republic Muslim lesbian guy information David France Russia France republic Muslim

Deepfake Technology Enters the Documentary World


When the documentarian David France decided to chronicle the anti-gay and lesbian purges that had unleashed a wave of fear and violence in Chechnya, he needed more than just a camera.

He had seen television news interviews from the Russian, largely Muslim republic: the subjects were dimmed in shadows, their voices digitally altered, but he found it hard to connect with them. “They were horrible stories and there’s no doubt that they were real,” France, an Oscar-nominated activist filmmaker, said. “But I knew I wanted to tell a much more in-depth story about what something as hideous as this meant to the people who survived it.” How would he shield the identity of at-risk gay and lesbian Chechens fleeing the region via a network of safe.

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