The demonstrators on the streets of Moscow in July 2019 want just one thing: fair elections. Despite their peaceful protest, 2,700 activists are arrested and hundreds are injured. The active camera places the viewer at the heart of the demonstrations, among the pushing and shoving of the chanting crowds. “You should be protecting us!” shouts a young woman at a soldier, and two big men come and take her away.
This is the setting in which the lawyer Maria Eismont operates. After each demonstration, she turns up at the police station to provide legal assistance to the detainees. One of them is Konstantin Kotov. The authorities claim Kotov has now been arrested on four occasions for the same crime, which means he’s facing a criminal charge. Eismont and her team work tirelessly to disprove this absurd accusation, but the judge still gives him a four-year jail sentence. All her media appearances come to nothing, and each appeal is rejected—until Putin suddenly appears on the scene.