It's estimated that just 1% of Russia’s current LGBT population lives openly, with the passing of a recent anti-gay law forcing many into the closet out of fear. Though homosexuality has technically been legal in Russia for 21 years, gay men and women are often targeted both by the police and vigilantes due to laws that prevent them from speaking about LGBT issues. Pro-gay activists are blocked from mentioning homosexuality and assembling in groups and internet groups congregate with the goal of luring gay people out of the closet and making their lives living hells. “Hunting season is open...and we are the hunted,” says one Russian gay man who was blinded in one eye after being assaulted.
In response to this, British filmmaker Ben Steele has worked with HBO to create the exposé Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia. Narrated by Matt Bomer, the documentary aims to look at Russia’s climate of anti-LGBT sentiment from a number of perspectives, including interviews with gay Russians.
The film debuts Monday, October 6 on HBO. Watch an exclusive trailer below: