A video that protests Russia’s new anti-gay laws is going viral this week with over 300,000 views as of Thursday evening. Its title reflects its simple, universal message: #LoveAlwaysWins.
The film itself is pretty straightforward, but the movement it represents, as well as the hopes of its creators, are rooted in an appeal to the International Olympic Committee to stand by its principles of non-discrimination before the Winter Olympics begin next February.
The film was created by All Out, a nonprofit charity that advocates equal rights for LGBTs.
I spoke to Mike Buonaiuto, the director of the film and All Out’s UK-based creative lead, about #LoveAlwaysWins and the reaction thus far.
He told me that the film has sparked a huge debate, mostly colored by “extreme homophobic comments” in YouTube. Most of those comments, by the way, come from Russian users.
“They are centered around gay rights in Russia, where very recently it has become illegal to be publicly gay or even support gay rights,” he said, adding that any violation of the law is “punishable by 15 days in prison,” and that includes tourists.
Russia looks cold this time of year anyway.
I asked if the point was to make the film as non-controversial as possible. After viewing it, you’ll see what I mean. Regardless of ones feelings on homosexuality, this is hardly Brokeback Mountain. Buonaiuto and co. successfully avoided the explicit and stuck to a simple, universal message.
“The film takes the issue down to it’s most simplest form and tells a simple, yet powerful Olympic story to illustrate a fact. The objective was to strategically produce an emotional piece of content that can be shared [to] raise awareness of what is happening in Russia at the moment, in the light of the country hosting the upcoming Winter Olympics.
“The International Olympic Committee must stand by their Olympic Charter, which states that no discrimination is permitted at the Olympics, and speak out for Russia to repeal it’s new law ahead of the games.”
Watch the film above and let us know what you think. Supporting All Out’s movement is as simple as tweeting with the hashtag #LoveAlwaysWins.