Kalinovski Square

Yury Khashchavatski

Estonia/Belarus 2007, 87 min.

Yuri Khashchavatski

Let me describe a scene that demonstrates the mastery of Yuri Khashchavatski as a filmmaker who knows how to bring forward this simple message: there is a dictatorship in Europe, a nation called Belarus, governed through a systematically consistent spreading of fear among those who are opposed to a regime that suppresses all human rights; a nation where elections are manipulated and where opponents of President Lukashenko are jailed or just disappearhe scene shows a boy being asked where his father is. “I don’t know,” the boy says with a photo of his father held to his chest. The camera remains focussed on his face as he starts to cry and seeks refuge behind his mother who is also holding a photo on the square where their manifestation takes place. Cut to the next scene, the same square, the same mother and child, several years later. The mother is attacked by one of the soldiers. Nothing has changed: the boy’s father, Dimitri Zavadski, is still missing.

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