Way to freedom: Ploshcha-2010 in Belsat’s documentaries

Greatly affronted by vote rigging, thousands of Belarusians took part in a peaceful demonstration on December 19, 2010. Being sick and tired of living a lie they believed they were going to Freedom. But in Independence Square the protesters came across the wall of special operations soldiers and convoy of prison trucks. More than 700 Belarusians were severely beaten, arrested or fined. On their way to Freedom dozens of people were hurled into prison. The film Enough… To Freedom! directed by Andrey Kutsila and Viachaslau Rakitski presents the dramatic events of December, 2010 as viewed by the peaceful protest participants who have come through jail trials.

The day of the 19th December, 2010 split the life of contemporary Belarusian society into two parts: “before” and “after”. Before the 2010 presidential elections the Belarusians were expecting a turn for the better in their country. Believing in a real opportunity of democratic changes they came to the Square. This happened “before”… The stories of the people involved in the events in the Square demonstrated cynism and deceitfulness of the dictatorship, which destroyed all the hopes for the best having used brutal force in the Square. And the post-election period started in Belarusians’ lives. The authors of film To Get to the Square managed to show the way of changing minds at that time. Uladzimir Niakliayeu, one of ex-presidential candidates, appeared in the film.

The road of former presidential candidate and today’s political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich passes across the village of Liadno, where he was born, Baranavichi, where his father lives all by himself, streets and squares of Minsk, where he took the leading role and claimed responsibility for fighting for freedom and independence of Belarus, Germany, where his daughters live at present time… But “Statkevich’s road is not only a road to prison but a road to freedom,” his daughter Katsiaryna says in the film directed by Andrey Kisel and Viachaslau Rakitski. Unique 1990s archives by Statkevich’s associates were used in the film along with Belsat TV archival footage.

Film Sannikau’s Choice is an attempt to understand the sacrifice of a citizen, husband, father who made a stand against the man who had usurped power in the country. Why did Sannikau decide to run for presidency knowing that the election might be rigged? Did he realize that he could be imprisoned or even killed? The authors are trying to give answers to these questions.


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