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Film shot in Ukraine takes aim at Russian homophobia

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state-sponsored homophobia and hate crimes.Little did they imagine the turn of events which has badly affected their cast and crew, a reported 80% of which were Ukrainian."Shooting in Russia was impossible because of the law that prohibits LGBT propaganda," says Govare."Filming two men kissing in the street would have landed us all in jail."Ukraine was chosen for its scenic similarity to Russia, and the filming facilities for Western teams.

No one dared imagine a Russian invasion.Today, an actress from the film is sheltering with her children in the Kharkiv metro and crew members have taken up arms.Some of the team have fled to France, where they are calling for solidarity in the profession to find them work.For the directors, beyond homophobia, ‘The Spangled Shrimps’ is a hymn to freedom in general, and the link to the current situation in Ukraine is obvious."The film tells how Putin oppresses the LGBT community,” notes Le Gallo, who says he got used to singing "Slava Ukraïni" (glory to Ukraine) at the preview screenings in France."Today, Putin oppresses the whole world, so that particularly resonates".The film paints an unequivocal portrait of the effects of Putin’s policies, in a country where violence against homosexuals is frequent.It is in this universe that the merry gang of “Shiny Shrimps” arrives, joined by a new character, Sélim (Bilal El Atreby), a young heterosexual steeped in prejudice.

The rainbow water polo team, which was going to the Gay Games in Tokyo, misses its match and finds itself stuck on hostile ground.While some hole up in hotels, others venture outside.

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