In the front of the room, a handful of Russian opposition activists shouted, “Shame!” at the director. In the back, out of the spotlight, was the event’s organizer — a fast-talking, nattily dressed man in a dark blue, double-breasted suit standing at a small table, sipping bottled water and quietly watching the commotion.
The June 13 showing was the film’s premiere. Other screenings had been canceled in Europe following protests by critics who say it is a crude attempt to smear Magnitsky’s name and that of the Western financier who employed him, William Browder.
That it was shown at all was a small coup for Rinat Akhmetshin, the man at the back of the room who for nearly 20 years has worked the shadowy corners of the Washington lobbying scene on behalf of businessman and politicians from around the former Soviet Union.