Oscar-nominated documentarian David France spent two years chronicling the underground railroad of volunteers risking their lives to rescue Chechnya’s queer victims for his HBO documentary, premiering Tuesday. To keep the faces of his interview subjects hidden, France used a technology similar to "deepfake" that places a digital face over their actual face. "I promised the people who were fleeing that I wouldn’t reveal their identities," says France. "But I asked them to let me film their faces anyway, so that I could be informed about their emotional journey as they dealt with recovering from the torture that they’d been through, and as they reckoned with the violence that their family represented, and the threats they were feeling from all sides. When I brought the footage back (to America), I experimented with all the tools that documentary filmmakers and others have used over the years to protect identities, and I found that they all distracted from the humanity of the people who were being disguised. That’s when we started experimenting with AI and deep-machine learning. It’s not deepfake — it’s just the opposite. The actions and dialogue and facial expressions in the film are all true, just expressed beneath a different skin."