Film about Ales Bialiatski and “Viasna” activities transmitted on “BelSat” TV channel

The central characters of this documentary are the head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, his wife Natallia Pinchuk and the teacher Natallia Ilyinich, who was dismissed from her job for political reasons, and whom the human rights defenders assisted in the protection of her rights.

Volha Shved, director: “The history of modern Belarus is a history of repression. Every momentous event – the election, the increase in prices, changes in legislation – ends with repression. The organisation of assistance to the repressed is a direct confrontation with the repressive authorities. Thus, Ales Bialiatski became a personal enemy of Aliaksandr Lukashenka in some respects, because one stops being afraid of saying what one thinks, or of coming out to protest actions when there’s somebody who will help if problems arise.”

The organization which rendered aid to the repressed, “Viasna-96″, was created in 1996, two years after Lukashenka came to power.

The film shows the history of the human rights center amid the recent history of Belarus. The central figure of the documentary is Ales Bialiatski, he is present on archival photographs and newsreels. However, there are no personal statements by Ales (except for his last plea at court). Nevertheless, he speaks to us through his wife, who explains why Ales chose the Belarusian way of life, why he engaged in the protection of people from the post-communist government, how he gradually got used to the idea that he can become a victim of repression as well, and how he lived with the knowledge of the inevitability of it. What price, apart from freedom, he had to pay everyday, and what it means to be with such a man?

“When we read that “Viasna” helps the repressed, there are no emotions behind it. It is difficult to understand from such lines the feelings of someone who is dismissed from the work which is his calling and what it means to be left without means of subsistence just because you think in a way which is not allowed. How can one keep living with the thought that soon they will knock on the door and take the husband away to prison? What does it mean to be waiting for the husband to come from work, without knowing whether he would come, and still support him? I tried to show persons in the film”, the channel’s website quotes the film director.

See film in Belarusian

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