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Belarusian Dream

 
Belarusian Dream

(Belorusskaya mechta) Director: Ekaterina Kibalchich, RUS, 2011, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 55 min

According to this film’s anonymous guide, autumn 2010 was the most beautiful period in Belarus in recent years. His words are illustrated with footage of the election rallies of independent presidential candidates. The speaker and many others hoped that the country’s first free elections in 16 years would bring the authoritarian rule of Alexander Lukashenko to an end. Those hopes, boosted by pre-election polls, are dashed when the results are announced. Lukashenko receives 80 percent of the votes, while one opposition candidate is beaten and kidnapped. Subsequent protests against the reportedly rigged elections lead to the arrest of opposition politicians, their wives, election campaign colleagues and even ordinary demonstrators. Film provides a unique, close-up perspective on the totalitarian practices of Belarus’s state agencies, which are not afraid to make use of media propaganda, the secret police, threats, and show trials. It is above all a tribute to those Belarusians for whom freedom remains a value worth fighting for.


 

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