Sundance 2013: Film Maker Claims Madonna May Have Increased Pussy Riot's Prison Sentences

WENNWENN

Long before the plight of the Russian feminist group Pussy Riot hit the headlines,  Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin had begun documenting the lives of the young women who aimed to change their homeland through protest in their movie 'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer'.

The group hit the headlines in the West after the news broke that they were facing jail for performing an anti-church and Vladimir Putin song in a church, resulting in many denouncing the Russian government and pop Queen Madonna donning a ski mask similar to the ones the band made famous and appearing with the band's name written on her body.

Sundance 2013: Film Maker Claims Madonna May Have Increased Pussy Riot's Prison SentencesSundance 2013: Film Maker Claims Madonna May Have Increased Pussy Riot's Prison Sentences

Madonna shows her support for the band Pussy Riot at a concert in Moscow (Photo: WENN)

Ahead of their film's debut at the Sundance Film Festival Lerner has claimed that the singer's intervention may have even increased the sentences of the three women from the band (2 years in a penal colony), as it may have annoyed the court which convicted them of, "premeditated hooliganism performed by an organised group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility".

Lerner told Fox 411's Pop Tarts column: "No not at all, in fact it was probably quite the opposite," adding:"That (Madonna's involvement) likely just irritated the court."

Pozdrovkin said that it was difficult for those not in Russia to understand the complex situation from outside, saying: "Most people in Russia don't like them and think they got what they deserved," continuing: "They were actually a lot more radical than people realize. They really tried to start a feminist revolution."

The film 'Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer' debuted at Sundance on Friday (January 18).

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