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Pussy Riot documentary screening cancelled for the third time in Russia

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Dec 30, 2013 | 11:46am EST

A screening of a documentary about newly-freed punk rockers Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina was cancelled for the third time on Sunday (29Dec13) in Moscow, Russia, according to a U.S. report. Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer was set to be previewed at the Gogol Center theatre with Tolokonnikova and Alekhina in attendance, but pressure from Moscow's cultural department head, Sergei Kapkov, prompted organisers to scrap the event, according to Buzzfeed.com. Announcing the cancellation on Facebook.com on Saturday (27Dec13), theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov, wrote, "It's unfortunate we had to cancel this event. It's really vile and gross to me. I never thought, to use the words of the classics, that I'd 'fall into this s**t'. "I call on all people, for whom (sic) still lives an understanding of honor and freedom, dignity and the right of an artist to create and speak freely, to unite and resist this darkness. With words, with art, in any way that helps." Tolokonnikova took to Twitter.com and added, "They let us out, but won't let us show a film about Pussy Riot. That's the Russian government." Serebrennikov also posted the letter he received from Kapkov. It reads: "I deeply believe that a government cultural institution should not associate with those people who provoke such an ambiguous reaction and whose activity is based on the provocation of society. "I have no right to get mixed up in your repertoire politics, and I've never done that, but considering this showing is not part of the official schedule, I demand you cancel the showing of the documentary film Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer and the discussion with the main heroes of the film." The two Pussy Riot members walked free last week (begs23Dec13) as part of a presidential amnesty after serving almost two years behind bars on hooliganism charges. They have since vowed to quit music and focus on their new prison reform campaign group.

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