Two members of Pussy Riot — a punk music-activist collective from Russia ­— showed film footage and spoke at the Neptune about Putin, media censorship and getting arrested for guerrilla performances.

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When Ksenia Zhivago and Maria Alyokhina of the Russian punk band and activist collective Pussy Riot took the stage at the Neptune Theatre Monday (Feb. 8), the crowd gave them a thunderous standing ovation before they said a word.

The mood of enthusiastic support did not wane but was supplemented by avid curiosity about who these women are and what they have gone through since 2012, when three members of Pussy Riot — including Alyokhina — were arrested and imprisoned for a guerrilla performance of “Punk Prayer — Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!” in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

It was a fascinating evening, not least because of Alyokhina — charismatic, amusing, outspoken and occasionally sarcastic — who did most of the talking.

“Pussy Riot is a movement,” she explained, when someone asked how new members were admitted to the group. “Not a Masonic order.”

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After talking about a Ukranian filmmaker given a 20-year sentence for his political views, she offered some candid advice: “If you don’t keep an eye on your democracy, you could have the same.”

The two-and-half-hour event began with a useful overview presented by anthropologist Mariana Markova, who summarized Russia’s recent background of media censorship, rigged elections, church-state collusion and criminal-code tinkering that Pussy Riot has been protesting since its formation in 2011. Markova’s introduction was followed by a screening of a 45-minute version of the 90-minute documentary “Pussy vs. Putin.”

Markova then interviewed the artist-activists, with the help of tour promoter Alexander Cheparukhin, who translated for Alyokhina. All four sat on stools. Questions from the crowd were followed by a screening of a 15-minute trailer of a documentary that had never before been shown outside of Russia, but which featured some of the same material from the evening’s first film.

Though the event was somewhat casually produced — no proper introductions, an uncooperative laptop with no sound for the film at first (and no technical director in sight), a T-shirt supply that vanished almost instantly — somehow it felt fitting for what was more an activist gathering than a performance.

Bits and pieces of the first film have been available on the internet — particularly the arrest scene in the church — but seeing its jiggling, hand-held-camera shots of demonstrations, performances and the trial in sequence was powerful. One segment documented a performance on top of a bus, interrupted by a heavyset, unamused driver who climbed up and threw the musical equipment onto the street as a crowd of young bystanders cheered for the band.

Less amusing and more frightening was a scene depicting thugs harassing supporters of the women during their trial, including one man who continuously splashed “holy water” on a demonstrator, accusing him of “blasphemy,” which highlighted the religious undertone of the current Russian social crisis.

During the band members’ incarceration, Pussy Riot turned its attention to prison reform. Alyokhina explained she and other prisoners were forced to sew police uniforms or face solitary confinement.

The Pussy Riot protests were “the beginning of a serious split in Russian society,” Markova explained.

As that split widens, Zhivago and Alyokhina are prepared to keep the world informed. Their cross-country tour will take them down the West Coast, then across the country to New York.

When asked if they feared for themselves, Alyokhina said they had been advised to employ bodyguards.

“But we don’t have enough time to think about security,” she said. “We just do what we do,” adding, “It’s not about us, it’s about you.”

Alyokhina then requested that people post photos on social media so that prisoners in Russia would know their plight was being noticed.