In collaboration with the wonderful folks at the WATCH Docs festival, we are showcasing some of the finest non-fiction work that has screened at their festival in Belarus.

This is part of a new venture at Docs Ireland, and we hope to highlight some of the world’s best documentaries from other parts of the world in years to come.

In August 2020, mass protests erupted across Belarus following the widely disputed election that put President Alexander Lukashenko in office for a sixth term. Three Belarusian filmmakers have documented personal stories of those caught up in the political turmoil:

What Will We Do Tomorrow? (8 mins)

Maksim Shved was arrested, imprisoned and then released as the protests around him swelled.

How Can I Help You? (10 mins)

Ekaterina Markavets observes the psychological burden of her fellow citizens – she worked with professional psychologists who set up a volunteer support service for people affected by current events.

Forced Retirement (10 mins)

Andrei Kutsila follows a celebrated Belarusian broadcast journalist who worked for state TV for nearly 40 years and who is now in hospital recovering from injuries sustained at a protest. All three filmmakers wonder what the future holds for their country and fellow citizens.

These following 2 films are some of the festival’s favourites from their previous festivals:

Strip and War
Director: Andrei Kutsila, 2019, Belarus, Poland, 68 min
Original language: Russian

A grandfather and grandson live in a military town near Minsk. The Colonel of aircraft in resignation, awarded with medals, the grandfather lives as an actively involved in public life citizen. He believes in the ideals of the Soviet past, sincerely tells the youth about it. The grandson left the profession of engineer. Office work did not bring him any income or pleasure. Today he is trying to realize his dream – to create a theater of erotic dance. Grandfather is not ready to put up with the aspirations of his grandson and tries to return him to a stable and ordinary life. The conflict of generations becomes a reflection on the contradictions of the post-Soviet space.

Breath of Swamps
Director: Ihar Chyshchenia,2014, Belarus, 25 min
Original language: Belarusian

The film tells about the fate of the three swamps intended for drainage, and the inhabitants who are the first to face the consequences of human intervention in the ecosystem. The film is filled with images of a unique nature, stories of old-timers and music written by Nagual band.

 

We would also like to thank the kind people at solidarityzone.org for their valuable help on this collaboration.