Who, If Not Us? The Fight for Democracy in Belarus
In 2020, the biggest protests against the government to date formed in Belarus. The protesters were met with violence and restrictions, many of them were given draconian prison sentences. A dangerous climate that sought to nip political activism in the bud took hold. For “Who, If Not Us? The Fight for Democracy in Belarus,” Juliane Tutein filmed and researched for three years in a country that had not seen a change of elites with its supposed independence in 1991. She discovered mainly women at the forefront of the courageous protesters. This portrait is dedicated to three of them: Nina Baginskaya, in her mid-seventies and active in the fight for an open Belarus since the 1980s, Tatsyana “Tanya” Hatsura-Yavorskaya, founder of the human rights film festival “Watch Docs”, and Darya Rublevskaya, the youngest at 22, who works for the “Viasna” human rights centre founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski. Tutein develops a polyphonic collage in which Minsk’s intimidating architecture has the same haunting impact as Hatsura-Yavorskaya’s escape into a Ukraine attacked by Russia.