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Movie Review: Poisoned by Polonium - The Litvinenko File

Alternate Title: Murder Most Foul

Story: Alexander Litvinenko will be remembered for the frightening photo of him in his hospital bed as he was slowly dying from polonium poisoning after meeting two former FSB (KGB) comrades over tea in London, in 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Litvinenko sought asylum in England after he became a whistle blower who accused the FSB (of which he was a member) of crimes against the people. Director Andrei Nekrasov delivers a scathing and scary indictment of Vladimir Putin's regime to the big screen. George W Bush looked into Putin's eyes and declared to the world the man could be trusted. Guess what? He was way off base. Writers Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya in their investigation of the Litvinenko poisoning chronicle a long list of past corruption, harassment, imprisonment, murder and assassination by Putin and his thugs.

A secondary story involves the 1999 bombings in Moscow where over 300 civilians were killed in a two week period. Putin pointed to the Chechen rebels and another war began. Many suspect the FSB were the ones really involved in the bombing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_apartment_bombings

The film meanders back to 1991 as Russia was attempting to find its way towards democracy and Putin was in charge of food delivery to a starving Leningrad. After multiple investigations it was found that over a100 million dollars worth of supplies never made it to the people. It is suspected that Putin and his thugs stole the money.

This fascinating documentary is at times hard to follow since it seems that everyone is a bad guy, spy or a snitch. Paranoia is an easy path to follow in the film. What is clear is that the number of journalists killed under the Putin regime is estimated to be 21. These murders still go unsolved. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

Acting: Other than the thugs who claim they are innocent, this is a documentary so this category does not apply.

Predilection: I was fascinated by this story when it first hit the papers.

Food: Are you kidding? After the poisoning? In a moment of humor one of the interviewees is offered a cup of tea and he nervously laughs and says 'no'.

Sex Spectrum: No sex but there is a shot of a pole dancer's boob.

Opening Titles: All credits at the end.

Theater Audience: Surprisingly crowded.

Weather: It is Russia. It is cold.

Sappy Factor: Scary factor would be a better term.

Squirm Scale: Putin makes me squirm.

Drift Factor: I was trying too hard to follow all of the intrigue to drift.

Predictability Level: Sadly, high.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. Director Nekrasov made a film about the apartment bombings called, Disbelief in 2004

Length: Under two hours