Comprised of smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, Dangerous Acts gives audiences a front row seat to a resistance movement as it unfolds both on the stage and in the streets.
Filmmakers: Madeleine Sackler
Runtime: 76 mins
The New York Times - "A "stinging" documentary full of "searing" images"
Toronto International Film Festival 2013
IDFA 2013: Reflecting Images
London Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2014
Movies That Matter, The Netherlands 2014
DOK.fest, Munich 2014
Seattle International Film Festival, USA 2014
Biografilm Festival, Italy 2014
Human Rights Watch Film Festival, USA 2014
AFI Docs, USA 2014
Creating provocative theatre carries great personal risks: emotional, financial and artistic. For
the members of the Belarus Free Theatre, there are additional risks: censorship, imprisonment,
and worse. Director Madeleine Sackler goes behind the scenes with the acclaimed troupe of
imaginative and subversive performers who, in a desolate country choked by censorship and
repression, defy Europe’s last remaining dictatorship. When authorities forbid critical
examinations of such topics as sexual orientation, alcoholism, suicide and politics, the Free
Theatre responds by injecting these taboos into performances that are staged in underground.
And yet, because of the power of their message, they receive critical acclaim overseas.
DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE ELEMENTS OF BELARUS picks up the story in 2010
when the KGB is cracking down on dissenters, sixteen years after Belarus’ President Alexander
Lukashenko takes power during the breakup of the Soviet Union. Now, as a dubious new
presidential election looms, the KGB targets the Free Theatre's founders Nikolai Khalezin and
Natalia Koliada who, along with their colleagues, find themselves torn between fighting for
their art and for their and their families’ safety.
Comprised of smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, DANGEROUS ACTS gives audiences
a front row seat to a resistance movement as it unfolds both on the stage and in the streets. As
the members of the Free Theater confront the choice of either repression at home or exile in
the US and the UK, DANGEROUS ACTS reconfirms our belief that the power of art and hope can
indeed change the world.
Madeleine Sackler is the director and producer of DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE
ELEMENTS OF BELARUS her third feature documentary. Her first documentary, THE LOTTERY, sparked a renewed debate on the future of public education and was shortlisted for the 2011 Academy Awards. DUKE 91 & 92: BACK TO BACK her second film, was co-produced by Turner Sports and gave viewers an inside look at one of the most storied basketball programs in history. Madeleine is the co-founder of Osmosis Films, a new media company dedicated to producing interactive, long form content. A Duke '05 alum, she also has a degree in biopyschology and has previously worked as a freelance editor for television, commercials and