Prigovor.ru has studied the activities of the producing company ‘MBK Production Limited’ controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky*. It has turned out that this ‘certified’ by the court financial swindler has worked out a scheme of secret financing of anti-Russian documentaries made by ‘independent’ foreign film-companies and ‘honest, objective’ directors.
See on this subject: ‘Bucha-Film’. Mikhail Khodorkovsky has started to create his own cinema company’ And also ‘Fabrication of movies’. How money was collected for a film that had not even a screenplay’
A short story of making the documentary films – ‘Citizen K’, “Anastasia’, ‘Merkel’, ‘Dissidents and Madness’, ‘Upper Lars. Goodbye, Empire!’ and ‘Russia vs. Lawyers’:
1. HOW KHODORKOVSKY HAS MADE A FILM ABOUT HIMSELF ENTITLED ‘CITIZEN K’
In 2019, the eminent American documentary maker Alex Gibney made available for big screens the film ‘Citizen K’. This film was presented as a serious attempt in the field of documentaries to tell about ‘Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s life journey’, although Mr. Gibney, actually, made a ‘fully fledged political block-buster’ laced with lie.
Contrived cuts of ‘one of the most important documentary directors in the modern cinema’ were noticed even in the journal ‘Forbes’ usually loyal to money bags. This journal, describing the out-of-competition showing of the film about ‘Khodorkovsky’s difficult way in modern Russia’ at the Venice Film Festival 2019, pointed out that the director Alex Gibney ‘not very guardedly for a film claiming to present an impartial assessment, uses the wordings of Khodorkovsky himself and of his circle for characterizing the present authorities… The problem with “Citizen K’ is also that Gibney doesn’t see the reason to meticulously verify facts found on the Internet’.
It turned out that the disrespectful attitude of the beacon of American documentaries is easy to explain with the help of the proverb: ‘He that has money has what he wants’. And money was paid to the famous director by the hero of the film himself – by Mikhail Khodorkovsky…
Officially it was announced that the documentary ‘Citizen K’ (2019) had been financed by the company ‘Amazon’. The producers of the film were companies ‘Jigsaw Production’, ‘Storyteller Productions’ and ‘Passion Pictures’.
And it’s just from the former that Khodorkovsky’s shameless ears were sticking out. In order to learn this, it suffices to have a look at the website of this very creative enterprise. And there one can see – ‘Passion Pictures’ is part of a big film-making holding.
And one of its subsidiaries, namely ‘Passion Film London Ltd” (registration number in the British Registry 11091224), at the very start, in 2017, four a couple of weeks was called ‘MBK Productions Ltd’.
Obviously, having understood that in the credits of the ‘objective’ film about ‘white and fluffy MBK’ such a title would give away the sponsor, the ‘expert board’ swiftly renamed the firm into ‘Passion Pictures Ltd’. And in 2021 this London dummy was even closed and all tracks were covered up.
It’s possible, of course, that the reputed American documentary director Alex Ginbey was wrong ‘in good faith’. In view of finding objectivity, he placed confidence in Khodorkovsky’s con men. As the result, he ended up in a trap placed by ‘decoy ducks’ from the group of robber-barons. He told his story ‘about the work of authorities in modern Russia’ looking through the lenses of fugitive criminals and their adjutant experts.
Among the commentators in the film have registered, for instance, the operator of Yukos fraud schemes, the lawyer Anton Drel, Khodorkovsky’s henchman and ordering customer of murders Leonid Nevzlin*, Khodorkovsky’s employee Maria Logan who works as director of several companies belonging to him. On the whole, an ‘objective’ crowd was set up, a team of false witnesses.
On the photo (Euronews): 2019, American documentary film maker Alex Gibney and the beneficiary of the film – citizen K at the Venice Film-Festival
2. ‘ANASTASIA’. ‘THIS WOMAN HAS VISITED HER CHILD ONLY 13 TIMES IN SEVEN YEARS’
Another ‘masterpiece’ of filmmaking with participation of Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the short motion picture ‘Anastasia’ (2022). Film maker: ‘MBK Production’, ‘Passion Pictures’ with participation of MTV Documentary Films. The director – Sasha Ordynova, aka Ordynova Alexandra Alexeyevna, who worked earlier in different mass media, including the state-owned news agency ‘RIA Novosti’.
From the description of the film follows that Anastasia Shevchenko, an activist from the town Rostov-on-Don and human rights defender, ‘spoke against the government and paid for that’, ‘becoming the first person who was brought to responsibility under Article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for participating in activities of an undesirable organization’ connected to Mikhail Khodorkovsky. All the drama of the plot is that ‘while the human rights activist was in jail, her teenage daughter Alina was hospitalized and died in solitude’, so the annotation. “The story is presented with poetical visual elegance’, note the makers, having forgotten, by the way, to point out a considerable cynicism of the sponsors from the ‘MBK Productions’.
In fact, there is little documentary stuff in this emotional fabrication with its definite cynical accent on the death of a child. When in 2022, this Khodorkovsky’s propaganda under the guise of a documentary was included into the short-list of ‘Oscar’ together with the film ‘Navalny’, the investigative journalist Vadim Manukyan, talking to the media outlet FAN, was greatly surprised, as he knew in details the history of Ms. Shevchenko.
Emerged were not only strange details of Shevchenko’s activism, but also the real circumstances of her daughter Alina who was incurably ill. And his ‘human rights activist’ didn’t care that much about her daughter, but instead was busy making her career in the structures of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and the burden of caring about her own daughter she shuffled off on to medical stuff. As was reported, ‘this woman has visited her child only 13 times in seven years”, and sometimes she simply delivered parcels.
The scan of the document ‘List of visitors’ was taken from a blog in ‘Live-Journal’
The more cynical sound on the website of the film-makers a passage of text from the mouth of the film’s heroine asserting the Alina died not because of the incurable decease, bit because of the fact that Anastasia made a stand against Putin’s regime’. In memorial of the girl, Khodorkovsky’s cinema-gang proposes… to donate money for ‘Ukrainian kids’.
By the way, the preliminary verdict under Article 284.1, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (participation in activities of undesirable organization) against Anastasia Shevchenko, born 1979, was a suspended one, and moreover, it was reduced from four to three years. However, she, having been released from house arrest, immediately fled from Russia to Vilnius. With accordance to the law, the Court changed her term in absentia to a real one. The Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation put her of the wanted list.
The scan of the document “History of disease’ taken from a blog in ‘LiveJournal’
Nowadays, the heroine of Khodorkovsky’s fake is breathing ‘the air of freedom’. For Western propaganda, so it seems, she is already a used material. As the whole uniqueness of Shevchenko was that her criminal case over cooperation with undesirable organizations, despite of repeated warnings, was the first one in court. And the swindler Khodorkovsky marked this event with some sumptuous propaganda hysterics in which the short documentary film ‘Anastasia’ became part of the information operation, but not a real documentary story.
3. ‘MERKEL’. CINEMA AND THE GERMANS
There is another interesting movie in Khodorkovsky’s moneybox. According to the recently published report of the British ‘Khodorkovsky Foundation’ ** for 2022, Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been diligently searching his profit, making points on open lobbying. On page 17 of the document, filed to the British regulator, the foundation tells where it has invested money in. Among other spending positions, two are connected with film-making.
So, for instance, Khodorkovsky provided means $259 000 for the documentary entitled ‘Merkel’. The money was transferred to the firm under the name ‘Merkel Film Limited’.
According to descriptions in public sources, ‘Merkel Film Limited’ is a private firm with limited liability and registered in England and Wales at the address 33-34 Rathnone Place, London, W1T 1JN. It is part of the holding whose parent company is ‘Passion Holdings Limited’ headed by the producer Andrew Rainer Ruhemann. This holding made a mark by its participation in the above mentioned films ‘Citizen K’ and ‘Anastasia’.
The documentary film ‘Merkel’ itself (it’s director is Eva Weber, a British German) with the budget of about 1.5 million pounds, was initially declared as a documentary narration from the first person, from the mouth of Angela Merkel, telling ‘about life, people, world and herself’. The film ‘is founded on a treasury of archive footages and sounded by Merkel herself’, said the preliminary release.
However, in 2021, when, actually, the whole thing was being initiated, Angela Merkel was still in office, and that is way, from the sidelines, such an approach looked like ‘corruption trash’ – like a certain payment for necessary position on some questions of foreign policy. Obviously, that is why the concept has been changed – ‘the narration from Merkel’s mouth’ was dropped.
In the end, the picture was slapped together ‘supported by vast archive materials and interviews with those who know her’, moreover, with kind of snobbery specific to all Western people, Angela Merkel, the main heroine, was declared ‘a triple outsider’, because she is a woman, a scientist and also from ends of the earth – from West Germany. And only thanks to her ‘friends’ from the United States and Britain, she could inter into the cohort of world leaders. It’s, like, you should learn how to bow correctly, and then your story will be told about how from an draggle-tail country bumpkin to become a queen ‘of the free world’.
It’s not by accident that ‘Khodorkovsky Foundation’ provided money to the British film-makers over the ‘educational line’. Still, let the Germans assess such a snobbish approach towards Germany – it’s their chancellor. For us, of interest is the contribution of the swindler Khodorkovsky whose financial participation they initially tried to hide. However, the scandal erupted in late summer – beginning of autumn 2022 because of the information leaks about participants of the project and its sponsors forced these ‘documentarians’ to disclose names and titles.
‘The total budget of the film is about 1.5 pounds. Khodorkovsky’s foundation provided one third of this sum’, found out the German journalist Thomas Roeper. He managed to find out that 150 thousand pounds had been transferred directly to the company ‘Merkel Films Limited’.
4. FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE FILM ‘UPPER LARS’
The website Prigovor.ru has found out two more anti-Russian documentaries in financing of which has taken part Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In the report of the ‘Khodorkovsky Foundation’** there is a line on providing 62 000 dollars to a certain German company ‘Einbahnstrasse Production’ (Berlin). It earns its living by making films. The review of the data led us to several stories and cinema persons capable of swallowing any sum of money and requesting for more.
So, the film-company was founded by Shaginurova Julia Rashidovna, a former creative producer of the OJSC ‘TV Indie’. From 2015 she has been living and working in Berlin. In his turn, Gindilis Yevgeny Viktorovuch, a well-known producer, is a founder and the general director of the OJSC ‘TV Indie’.
Yevgeny Gindilis is a well-known person in Russia film-making business. He gives master-classes for newcomer film-makers on various education platforms. Up until 2014, he produced a number of films and serials on Russian TV.
In the spring of 2014, inhabitants of the Crimean Peninsula didn’t support the Bandera nationalist authorities in Kiev starting to prepare for a referendum, and after that the soul of the producer couldn’t cope with people’s volition. So, Gindelis, from 2014, started to groan about the ‘Russian incursion’, ran along the streets and protested.
For the producer Yevgeny Gindelis now it’s really a golden photo. He himself has been circulating it everywhere. It’s a good way to move to pity European and American grant-providers. In any case, this agent provocateur won’t be without a monthly allowance
It’s characteristic that the burning of people in Odessa in the month of May of the same year, 2014, and the Nazi’s pogrom which was intentionally carried out on May 9 in Mariupol, the producer Gindilis, ‘concerned about Ukraine, like, ‘didn’t notice it’. On the other hand, he was signing different petitions ‘in support of Ukraine’ with cries about ‘Russian aggression’, and he was doing this in the company of creative intellectuals who were always doing two things with equal enthusiasm – using money from state budget and ‘feeling ashamed for this country’ at every opportunity.
But let’s return to money. Actually, according to the data base, created by the “Institute of Documentary Films’ (IDF, Prague), the company ‘Einbahnstrasse Production’ showed up in 2022 by the experimental flick ‘Dissidents and Madness’ – director Sergey Gindelis, producer Yevgeny Gindelis. According to the synopsis, the basis of the film is a story of the proverbial ‘punitive psychiatry’, and protagonists of the film ‘are carrying out a discussion on that matter’, and, you bet, “they found parallels with violations of human rights taking place in modern Russia’, although the main character of the film initially got under the road roller of Ukrainian authorities.
It’s characteristic that this work is presented as a mutual one – ‘Einbahnstrasse Production’ (Germany), and OJSC ‘TV Indie’ (Russia). By the way, the latter firm belonging to Russophobe Gindilis, continues quite easily to function on the territory of the Russian Federation. And this Russophobe makes quite good money in Russia: the total sum of payments from current operations in 2022 amounted to 6 951 000 rubles. ‘As of June 28, 2023’, the organization is an active one’, reports the website of ‘RBK.Company’.
The OJSC ‘TV Indie’, Primary State Registration Number (OGRN) 1137746689431, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (INN) 7706798183, legal address Moscow, Pokrovka street, H.9, construction 1, floor/premises/room/ 2/II/1456. General director and founder - Gindelis Yevgeny Viktorovich, (INN 773605310906). The main field of activity – production of films, videos and television programs. In 2022, the profit of the company is 316 000 rubles, earnings in 2022 – 1 395 000 rubles
Now in production of the director and agent provocateur Sergey Gindilis there is a documentary film with the working title ‘Goodbye, Empire!’ – a serial about the destiny of the ‘new immigration’ from the fugitive battalion ‘Upper Lars’. It’s a story about how and where these piteous people have settled. For this Khodorkovsky also could have provided a grant. Incidentally, also for other projects of the company ‘Einbahnstrasse Production’.
5. ‘RUSSIA VS LAWYERS’. EARS OF KHODORKOVSKY
Another product of the German company ‘Einbahnstrasse Production’ financed by Khodorkovsky is devoted to so-called ‘protest attorneys’. The film is named on a grand scale – ‘Russia vs Lawyers’, its director is Masha Novikova.
This Masha was born 1956, but left her motherland in the height of perestroika, in 1988, and settled in the Netherlands. From this period of time, she has been feeling ashamed for Russia, for ‘this’ country’. So, Masha was burning of shame in Chechnya dealing with the glorification of ‘proud and independent inhabitants of Ichkeria, under the direction of the Arab terrorist Hattab.
Nowadays, this Masha ‘is once again ashamed for Russia’, and that is why she has written a rock-drama about ‘the struggle of attorneys-human rights activists who are fighting for justice in this becoming more and more suffocating dictatorship’. As the main character of the film is mentioned the ‘protest lawyer’ Mikhail Benyash. He is a fan of radicalism of Navalny’s followers. It’s he who wrote a strange piece about receiving ‘anonymous denouncements, signed by real, living people at that’, what singles out the ‘quality’ of the flick.
Thus, the website Prigovor.ru has tracked down the murky scheme of Khodorkovsky film-making. Basically, it looks like this: ‘undesirable organizations’ of Khodorkovsky channel money to foreign companies of different standards, and those, at his request, make ‘their own’, ‘objective’, ‘independent’ films about horrors in Russia.
So, if you catch sight of the following documentary films – ‘Citizen k’, ‘Anastasia’, ‘Merkel’, ‘Dissidents and Madness’, ‘Upper Lars. Goodbye, Empire’ and ‘Russia vs Lawyers’ – be sure that this is the work of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and in credits ‘independent’ directors ashamedly do not mention his name.
Author: Buba Filin
See the Russian version at: «Как «гражданин Х» сам о себе снял «объективное» кино для Венецианского фестиваля»
** ‘Khodorkovsky Foundation’ (Great Britain) – included by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in the list of undesirable organizations;
* Nevzlin Leonid Borisovich, born 21.09.1959, Personal Insurance Policy Number (SNILS) 094-463-07079 – 23.06.2023 included in the Registry of foreign agents with No 622. On August 1, 2008, Nevzlin, as ordering customer and organizer of five murders and six attempted murders was sentenced in absentia to life-long imprisonment. The European Court for Human Rights, having studied the complain of Nevzlin in 2022, pointed out that it had not found any ‘prejudice of the court’ in Russia;
* Mikhail Khodorkovsky – 20.05.2022 was acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent. Included in the Registry of foreign agents with No 389.