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Property to die for

28th June 2005

Dear all,
Here are details of a screening of a film called "Property to Die for". It will also be shown on BBC 2, This World, on July 19th. If you would like to attend the screening at the Frontline Club, please get in touch with me ([removed]) as seats are limited.

The Frontline Club & Forum in association with the Open Society Foundation – Network Media Program
These screenings are a regular feature of the Frontline Club
Admission for non-members £5

Screening – ‘Property To Die For’ (tx July 19, This World, BBC2)
Monday 4th July – 7.30pm
Followed by Q&A with director Christopher Mitchell and Clementine Cecil of MAPS
Duration – 50 minutes
Imagine that you’re sitting in a house that's legally yours. You're unable to move, because you’re nursing a broken leg. Suddenly you hear the roar outside of a bulldozer attacking the front porch. You’re removed bodily, just in time to watch the complete destruction of your home, so that unscrupulous bureaucrats can profit from developing the valuable land it stands on.
This is the world revealed in Property to Die For, a story of life and death on the Moscow property market that is virtually unknown in the West and is only now beginning to be revealed in all its sinister complexities in Russia. It’s about a series of multi-million dollar scams involving corrupt judges and bureaucrats, bent cops, fake lawyers, mafia stormtroopers, and a cast of victims who are either dead or reduced to penury.
Property to Die For is an investigation of crimes that are often protected by Russian law and its officers. They’re shrugged off by the authorities and positively encouraged by apparatchiki at the highest levels of both local and national government. These are crimes that make a mockery of President Putin’s hawkish profile as a restorer of law and order.
By following the often blackly comic tales of repossession, this film exposes the human realities of Putin’s Russia, and asks whether Russia is really living up to its claim to be an orderly democratic society, subject to the rule of law.

MAPS was set up in 2004 by a group of international journalists. It works in close cooperation with preservationists, architects and historians within Russia and abroad to raise awareness about the present destruction of Moscow's historical buildings.

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