Anna Politkovskaya was a reporter for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta who, she said, never wrote “commentary, or opinion, or speculation.” Yet her unvarnished accounts of the war in Chechnya antagonized many powerful people in the Russian military and government, who regarded her descriptions of acts of savagery committed by their country’s soldiers as “unpatriotic,” Ben Brantley writes for The New York Times:
She was assassinated in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building in 2006. The question of who ordered her death remains the subject of fraught international conjecture. It’s a mystery that has become a focal point for discussions of the dangers of independent journalism in increasingly authoritarian times.
In “Intractable Woman” — directed with an uncompromisingly clear eye and steady hand by the gifted Lee Sunday Evans — the circumstances of Politkovskaya’s death are described with the same precision and ostensible objectivity as everything else in this Play Company production. The implication is that just the facts should offer more than enough in the way of tragic pity and terror.