It is a tale of bravery, defiance, and a simple refusal to give in to Vladimir Putin – whatever the cost.
In December 2021 Dmitry Muratov is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
He is the editor-in-chief of Russia’s only independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.
Since he founded Novaya six of his journalists have been murdered, after their reports displeased the state. Most famously, reporter Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down in the lift of her Moscow apartment.
Another war dominates this film.
In February 2022 Russia invades Ukraine.
In early March, using the cover of a documentary film festival, Muratov secretly negotiates free passage for forty journalists with the Latvian government.
Then, all too aware of the risk he is running, he returns to Moscow to look after his paper and its remaining staff.
In May he announces that he is going to auction his Nobel medal and give the money to Ukrainian refugees. Days later, he is on a train home to see his mother.
Suddenly a masked attacker bursts into his compartment and pours red paint all over him. The paint is laced with acetone. Dima’s eyesight is permanently damaged.
Undaunted, he goes ahead with the auction. And on June 21 Muratov’s medal sells for a record $103 million.
To this day, he refuses to leave Moscow, whatever the pressure on him and his team.
‘Putin stands for death. I stand for life.’