Why New Doc 'Almost Holy' is Brutal but Integral Viewing

It was 2012 when American documentary filmmaker Steve Hoover first came across Gennadiy Mokhnenko – the Ukrainian vigilante pastor around whom Hoover's latest film Almost Holy is centred, who has made a name for himself in the south-eastern city of Mariupol by "forcibly abducting homeless drug-addicted kids from the streets" and taking them back to the centres he runs through his charity Pilgrim.

Hoover was in the final stages of post-production on his 2013 debut, the critically acclaimed Blood Brother, and was seeking out a subject for his next film. Some of his production team had encountered Mokhnenko while shooting a video in Ukraine and, after spending a few days with him "listening to his stories and witnessing his amorphous work", they returned convinced that the charismatic man was the perfect focal point for Hoover's next project. "I hadn’t met him, so I didn’t share their enthusiasm at first," the director explains. "But they really worked hard to contextualise everything for me, to help me to understand Gennadiy; they sat me down and showed me a lot of raw footage and suddenly it just kind of clicked." via AnotherMag