03:06 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Putin Documentary to Premiere in Russia Ahead of Election

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A German documentary that portrays the “human side” of Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin will be aired on Russian television shortly before the end of the election campaign in Russia.

A German documentary that portrays the “human side” of Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin will be aired on Russian television shortly before the end of the election campaign in Russia.

The film "I, Putin" is scheduled to be shown in the night segment on NTV television of Friday, only a few hours before Russia goes into “election silence,” a day prior to March 4 presidential elections when any form of election propaganda is prohibited.

According to Der Spiegel, the documentary, directed by award-winning German filmmaker Hubert Seipel, tends to portray Putin as “a lonely, aging and surprisingly likeable man.”

“The documentary itself is a departure from the official images we are all too familiar with. Instead, it offers a look behind the scenes of power and addresses the question of what exactly it is like to be Vladimir Putin,” Der Spiegel said.

It took Seipel over two years to convince Putin to accept his idea of the documentary, but in the end the Russian prime minister granted unprecedented access to the foreign filmmaker, “giving interviews in which nothing was off-limits except Putin's private life.”

Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told Life News portal that the program had not been censored in any way as it is considered strictly commercial material, and the decision to show the documentary on the eve of the elections had been made by the NTV owners.

“It was NTV's decision to air it at this time,” Peskov said, adding that other TV channels also wanted to show the film.

The documentary was aired earlier in February on German television.

I, Putin is not the first documentary about the Russian prime minister filmed by a foreigner.

BBC showed in January and February a four-part series, Putin, Russia & the West, describing Putin’s eight years as president of Russia and four more as prime minister.