Kino Světozor

A Lesson of Belorussian


(Lekcja białoruskiego) Director: Mirosław Dembiński , POL, 2006, Polish-Belosrusian version / Czech sub-subtitles, 51 min

In 1990, Belarus declared its sovereignty and a year later it announced its full independence after the collapse of the USSR. At the beginning of this period, an elite national lyceum was established in Minsk. In 1995, Alexander Lukashenko's rise to power meant the end of freedom and democracy in Belarus as well as the beginning of tough times for the lyceum. In 2003, this oasis of freedom, which fostered the cultivation of the Belorussian language, was outlawed. Neither the students nor the teachers refused to throw in the towel, however, and they illegally continued to have lessons and to disseminate freethinking views and opinions. Moreover, they began to rebel more and more intensely. This documentary is an unusually dynamic description of the oppressive situation in contemporary Belarus, which works by looking at the youngest generation of students at the school. The film does not just provide engrossing testimony of the situation in a totalitarian state, but also offers proof of how young people have the power to influence their living conditions and to protest against demoralising totalitarianism.


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