Never tell anyone about this

Lera and Kostya live in Russia. They are told never to tell anyone about themselves in order to appear normal and not be rejected by society. There is an inner tension and fear growing inside the characters. They are intersex people, but there is not much information about LGBT+ in Russian. One day everything changes, and they decide to tell the world about themselves, that intersex people exist, and there are millions of them.

  • Kate Sedlyarova
  • Kate Sedlyarova
  • Kate Sedlyarova
  • Lera
    Key Cast
  • Kostya
    Key Cast
  • Anton
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Никогда никому об этом не рассказывай
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    38 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 27, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    Russian Federation
  • Country of Filming:
    Russian Federation
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • BBC World News
    Country: United Kingdom
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Kate Sedlyarova

In 2017 Katerina Sedlyarova joined the BBC Russian Service. Since then she has been producing, filming and editing documentary stories on socio-political topics.

She didn't graduate from film school, so she learned how to be a filmmaker while shooting her first film, Never Tell Anyone About This, about how intersex people live in Russia.

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Director Statement

I made a film about the life of intersex people in Russia, because no one had done it before me. This is the first Russian documentary about intersex people.

There have always been intersex people in Russia. They used to be called hermaphrodites because that was the custom in the medical community, and even earlier intersex people traveled with a freak circus, where their physiology was shown to the public and they were called freaks.

It's hard to believe, but in Russia, intersex people are still called freaks in many medical offices. And not just there. In addition, still few people in Russia know who intersex people are, what they have to face and struggle with every day. Intersex people are afraid to make a fireplace out and talk about themselves. And if you don't talk, you don't exist. If no one talks about problems, then they don't exist.

But I found people who aren't afraid. And they said right into the camera, without hiding their faces or names: "Hello, world, we intersex people, we exist!" In Russia, this kind of behavior is a feat.

I started shooting by trying to show what kind of life intersex people live in different cities of my huge country. But the pandemic ruined those plans, and I wasn't able to fly to all the planned cities. But I was able to delve deeper into the lives of the characters I met.

I want to believe that the viewer who will be watching the film will feel this depth that I and the characters of the film were able to get into. Let the viewer see the story from different sides. Let them draw their own conclusions.

There is an 18+ sign at the beginning of the film. It is there because since 2013 there is a law in Russia that establishes responsibility for "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors". This is why children and their parents, especially in Russian regions, especially those as unusual as intersex children, are often left alone with a million questions that have no answers. It shouldn't be this way.

It is important for me to show this film to the audience because no one should have to live in fear of rejection. It's a feeling that breeds other destructive feelings - feelings of guilt, of being unwanted and unappreciated. And that's incredibly difficult to live with.

It is a film about equality - about the basic human need for recognition and love, about one's rights in society, regardless of what set of gender traits one is born with and what gender one wants to have by one's side.