By Basil Tsiokos | Indiewire February 14, 2014 at 10:23AM
With all eyes on Sochi for the Olympic Games for most of this month, Indiewire's latest curated selections for Hulu's Documentaries page explores host country Russia. Watch these and other docs now for free!
Modern-day politics, ideology, and the cult of personality around Russia's president is the focus of Lise Birk Pederson's bracing "Putin's Kiss."
Cyril Tuschi's "Khodorkovsky" reveals how the country's former richest citizen became a political prisoner after challenging President Putin.
Post-Soviet prisoners are also the subject of Maria Yatskova-Ibrahimova's "Miss Gulag," focused on a Siberian prison camp beauty pageant.
A pair of films offer cross-cultural exchanges through music: Nina Gilden Seavey's "The Ballad of Bering Strait" follows a Russian country band as it adjusts to life in rural Tennessee, while Petter Ringbom's "The Russian Winter" chronicles former Fugees musician John Forté's re-emergence from prison to recording an album in Russia.
Finally, Russia's role in space exploration is the focus of several docs, including David Hoffman's "Sputnik Mania," about the impact of the famed Soviet satellite; Elliot Haimoff's "The Cosmonaut Cover-Up," which puts forth the claim that Yuri Gargarin was not the first man in space; and Mike Woolf's <a hr>"Man on a Mission," documenting pioneering computer game designer Richard Garriott's trip to space, from training in Russia's Star City to his time on the International Space Station.
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Indiewire @ Hulu Docs" is a regular column spotlighting the Iw-curated selections on Hulu's Documentaries page, a unique collaboration between the two sites. Be sure to check out the great non-fiction projects available to watch free of charge. Disclosure: Some of the selections are titles provided to Hulu by SnagFilms, the parent company of Indiewire.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance, Film Program Director for the Nantucket Film Festival, Senior Programmer for DOC NYC, and a consultant to documentary filmmakers and festivals. Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).