Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

International Programme 2014
Amerykanka. All included Viktar Korzoun

Prison life in the dreaded KGB headquarters of Minsk, told by dissident poet Alyaksandr Fyaduta in front of an animated, cartoon-like prison backdrop. A bitter satire à la Erofeyev.

2013

Amerykanka. All included

Animadoc
Belarus
2013
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Kasia Kamockaja
Viktar Korzoun
Natalia Shyrko, Eugene Yellow
Viktar Tumar
Viktar Korzoun, Anatoly Todorsky
Alexander Fyaduta, Viktar Korzoun
Taras Senchuk
The “Amerykanka” is the headquarters and notorious torture centre of the KGB in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe. Immediately following a protest against the results of the presidential elections of 19 December, 2010, a number of opposition members were arrested, among them Alyaksandr Fyaduta. He was detained at the “Amerykanka” over a period of three months, 50 days of which he spent in solitary confinement. During that time he wrote “American Poems”, the book on which this courageous and formally unusual film by Viktar Korzun is based. It revolves around Alyaksandr Fyaduta: his arrest, interrogations, humiliations, life in prison, though he appears not in a traditional interview setting but as an active agent in front of and in animated prison scenery. The real live image of the “slightly overweight protagonist with glasses”, as Fyaduta self-deprecatingly describes himself, constantly changes into his animated alter ego and vice versa. The way this artistic device, born out of the lack of a real location, is realised reveals a strong taste for playfulness and creates a surprisingly ironic distance both to the events and the state of the country. And perhaps mockery is the only possible attitude left in the face of a government that arrests people, as recently happened, merely for clapping their hands silently and in public.
Matthias Heeder

Earth

Documentary Film
Belarus
2012
30 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jaroslav Kamienski, Belsat TV
Victor Asliuk
Ivan Hancharuk
Victor Asliuk
Victor Asliuk
World War II – also known as the Great Patriotic War – is far from over, especially in the Soviet Union’s successor states, as the passion for grandiose “Victory Day” celebrations proves. Usually a whole album of mythological images is evoked, with the “heroic courage” motif so dominant that there is little room left for actual remembrance, compassion or coming to terms with the past. “Zemlya” takes the opposite path. With the persistence and visual intensity that made Victor Asliuk one of the outstanding documentarians of post-Soviet history, the Byelorussian focuses on the protracted search for buried soldiers’ bodies – palpable relics of the former battle fields. Volunteers from all corners of Russia, often whole families, search the forests for bone fragments. They dig them (the unburied) up to bury them again. A seemingly absurd, ghostly cycle, observed with stoic calm – which also rules when Asliuk casually interweaves these scenes with unique archival footage of the winter war. The nameless dead become eerily real – young men connected through the earth with their descendants, who are as young as they once were and confronted with death for the first time. Even if they sometimes play at war in the breaks, the dominant feeling is reverence. A film that connects the past of a lost future with the present.

– Barbara Wurm

It

Animated Film
Belarus
2015
8 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alexander Gerasimov
Genadzi Buto
Stanislav Makovskiy
Genadzi Buto
Genadzi Buto
Genadzi Buto
A vampire story without vampires – told in all shades of black, poison green and pimple pink. Disturbing and relentless like the clutches of a dictatorship. The world of the tragic hero and his lover is put out of joint by the sting of an initially tiny mosquito. After futile and lonely resistance, his better half leaves him. What is left that’s worth fighting for now? A parable in expressionist images and sounds.

Nadja Rademacher
International Programme 2017
You Won’t Come Back Here (or The Wind Is Lonely Without Me) Dmitri Makhomet

Almost entirely alone, an 89-year-old woman spends the summer months in her house in a Belorussian village.

You Won’t Come Back Here (or The Wind Is Lonely Without Me)

Documentary Film
Belarus
2017
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dmitri Makhomet
Dmitri Makhomet
Dmitri Makhomet
Dmitri Makhomet
Summer in a Belarusian village. The media are broadcasting an imminent presidential election – news that might as well come from another galaxy. This 89-year-old woman spends her summer months here, in almost complete isolation, in a wooden house that looks uninhabited from the outside. The garden has run to seed, grass grows everywhere and urgently needs cutting so as not to attract the demolition squad. One or two houses in the village have already been demolished. But who cares? This spot seems to have vanished from the maps long ago. And yet the lady with the hunched back does her daily chores, washes the floors, pours honey from a big tin bucket into a glass, scrubs the white laundry in the garden. In between she rests on her bed, positioning herself so she can look out of the window: on the side. Dmitri Makhomet’s film is pure observation.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for MDR Film Prize