Oswald. The Minsk Mystery

dir. Viktar Aslyuk, 2016

The reputed Belarusian filmmaker Viktar Aslyuk has filmed the documentary ‘Oswald. The Minsk Mystery’.

In the film, Ernst Tsitavets, a resident of Minsk, relives certain experiences and tells about his friend Lee Harvey Oswald, the person who is allegedly responsible for assassinating U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The documentary is set in the block of flats Nr 4 in Kamunistychnaya street, in the very apartment where the American ‘tourist’ lived after his arrival in Minsk. Ernst Tsitavets was then a medical student and loyal Komsomol member, who, however, secretly listened to the BBC. There they disputed on the standards of life is better in the West and in the USSR.

“I did not keep my promises to make a great film, an extensive investigation for, perhaps, only one reason – there are very few witnesses left. Time was lost, I had to narrow it down, and finally, I focused on the apartment.

The apartment has hardly changed. Its parket flooring, bathtub, toilet, ceiling remain authentic. As a film director, I realized that hundreds of movies telling the story of Oswald were made. And I did not set the task to give a final answer to the question whether Oswald killed or he did not. But I knew that there was one man in the city who rarely appeared in films. He was one of the people who were close to Oswald in his Minsk period – or even in his whole life, because Oswald’s life was very short. […] Of course, in this case, I decided to follow my character. I do not judge and do not intend to judge Oswald – it is not my aim. But my character – Ernst Tsitavets – believes that Oswald did not kill. And it is his emotional right, human right to think so.

When I started, I saw that anyone who would ever dig at this issue – Oswald in Minsk – would touch the issue of Minsk itself without doubt. The issue of the 1960s, when this man came and lived here. I admit having a soft spot on the 1960s – maybe, due to old Soviet films. My documentary features the best footage of the then cameramen,” the famous film director told Belsat TV.


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