The taboo zones are accumulating in Belarus: there are no sexual minorities, there is no violence, no alcoholism, no child suicide. ‘The government is afraid of the truth’, say the members of the Belarus Free Theatre, an underground company that responds to the restrictions by incorporating into their performances everything that the government is trying to hide. Their work, staged secretly in unconventional venues, is a powerful form of intensely political theatre inspired by their belief that art has the power to ‘destabilize’ the most repressive of regimes, such as the one of Lukashenko.
Director Madeleine Sackler goes behind the scenes to cover a dramatic year in the life of a group defiantly resisting state harassment, in spite of being blacklisted, beaten, arrested, and having their performances regularly raided by the police. The film intercuts between live footage from the streets during violent post-election clashes and fragments from the group’s visceral performances, simultaneously capturing the lives of the performers and the wider struggle of a country crushed by an authoritarian regime. One of the founders of the company, currently living in exile, recalls being told by Vaclav Havel that: "If you want to allow a dictatorship to continue, it is enough to whisper. If you want to end it, you must shout."
18 March, 19:00, Muzeul National al Taranului Roman