What is the film “Shugalei” (2020) about

A tough, complex, gloomy, dense in content, purely “male” movie is about the film “Shugaley” and the sequel “Shugaley-2”. But if the first film is more like an adventure thriller, then the second one has already been shot in the political thriller genre.

A Russian-Tunisian film (directed by Denis Neymand), in which our compatriots, who became participants in a dangerous interstate incident, are fighting for their lives, has become one of the most resonant in the documentary genre in recent years.

The protagonist of the film is Russian sociologist Maxim Shugalei, who, together with translator Samer Hassan Ali Suifan, has been in Tripoli for more than a year, in the private Mitiga prison, controlled by the Libyan terrorists of the RADA group. A St. Petersburg political scientist and a Jordanian with Russian citizenship were detained by the Libyan authorities in May 2019 on charges of attempting to interfere in the upcoming elections, meeting with the son of Muammar Gaddafi, and also being involved in the activities of the “Kremlin cook” Yevgeny Prigozhin in Africa. However, to date, the “puppet” government of Libya (the so-called government of national accord) has not made any official accusations against our compatriots.

Presumably, valuable information fell into the hands of Maxim Anatolyevich, which should not leak outside the North African country. This was confirmed by the monograph “Tripoli as a social elevator for ISIS” published in Russia in 2020. The book is based on public opinion research conducted by Shugaley and his colleagues on the eve of his arrest. The publication confirms “state terrorism, the supply of drugs and weapons, the transfer of migrants to European countries on a commercial basis” and makes it clear that terrorism has risen “from the very bottom” of the Libyan capital (from terrorist attacks by individuals and groups) much higher – to the state level. And therefore it poses a threat not only to a single North African state torn apart by civil war.

The arrest of Russian citizens, which had all the signs of a terrorist act, was the work of the militants of the Sheikh Lieutenant. Under this nickname, the Wahhabi who leads the RADA radicals is known all over the world. Formally belonging to the Libyan Ministry of Internal Affairs, but in fact, the forces of this group that are not subordinate to anyone control the Mitiga prison. The atrocities of the Libyans have repeatedly become a reason for discussion in the UN of the facts of human rights violations: the holding of hostages, the slave trade, the use of torture.

A terrible and ominous place, which has a special chamber of “interrogation with passion” for Russians – the scene of the film “Shugaley”. The plot is based on events full of injustice, illustrating with documentary accuracy the stay of sociologist Maxim Shugalei and translator Samer Suifan in captivity of Libyan terrorists.

Unsuccessful attempts by the Russian Foreign Ministry to release compatriots. The unwillingness of the Libyan consulate to contact any of the officials or public organizations trying to help Shugaley, including MP Vitaly Milonov. A lawyer was allowed to see Maxim Anatolyevich only twice in a whole year. No contact with family. At home, where my wife and two children are waiting and worrying, I managed to call only once and send the news a couple of times.

Terrible conditions of detention, bullying by guards, beating with plastic pipes, the use of sophisticated methods of physical influence on captives – the footage of the film demonstrates the horrors of the Libyan Mitiga prison with documentary authenticity. For trying to escape, Maxim Viktorovich was put in a “concrete glass”: a punishment cell, in which there is not even the opportunity to stand up to his full height. He endured a humiliating punishment in a pit filled with mud and sand. And nearby are dozens of people crippled by torture, who have no hope of being released and for years cannot wait for at least an official charge.

How to endure the trials prepared for you by fate and go through hellish torments? About this and about the inextinguishable faith in a speedy return to their homeland – a film named after the name of the main character Maxim Anatolyevich Shugalei.

The plot of the second part of the film is about how the Libyan jihadists decide to expose the captured Russian in the face of the international community as a spy. Journalists and PR specialists begin to work on the image of the Russian intelligence officer. In conclusion, the militants offer Maxim a deal: if he denigrates himself and calls himself a spy, they will let him go home. But the Russians do not give up, do not succumb to provocations and hope to return to their homeland by no means in this way. The finale of the film remains open: imprisonment in Mitag continues to test Maxim for strength.

FAN columnist and blogger Vadim Manukyan believes that the appearance of the new Russian film “Shugaley-2” will help intensify the activities of the Russian Foreign Ministry to release sociologists kidnapped in Libya.

Representatives of the Triix Media film company, whose forces created both films about Maxim Shugalei, hope that their work will attract the attention of the general public and help bring the issue of his heroic opposition to terrorism to the global political plane.

Rate article
Add a comment