Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus

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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.

The film 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.

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Toronto International Film Festival - World Premiere

IDFA: Reflecting Images - European Premiere

London Human Rights Watch Film Festival - Opening Night

Movies That Matter, The Netherlands

DOK.fest, Munich

Planete + Doc Film Festival, Poland

Seattle International Film Festival, USA

Biografilm Festival, Italy

Human Rights Watch Film Festival, USA



Movies that Matter - Winner of Movies that Matter Award

TRT - Second place in the TRT Documentary Awards, 2014

Biografilm Festival - Biografilm Life Tales Award 2014 of the International Competition

Biografilm Festival - Audience Award | Biografilm Festival 2014 of the International Competition






"A stirring, moving documentary" ★★★★ – The Observer

"Rousing, urgent viewing" ★★★★ – Time Out

"Vivid and vital" ★★★★ – Total Film

"Documents the trials and travails of the actors of Belarus’s Free Theatre " ★★★★ – The Times

"Recommended viewing, especially given recent events in Ukraine" ★★★★ – The Evening Standard

"A timeless piece of documentary filmmaking " ★★★★ – Hey u Guys

"An absorbing documentary that shines a light on the courage and talents of its subjects." ★★★★ – Cine Vue

"A gripping story" ★★★★ – Beige Magazine

"Intense and challenging" ★★★★ – The Hollywood News

"Madeleine Sackler's engrossing documentary chronicles upheaval in 'the last dictatorship in Europe'" – Variety

"An admirable document of courage and resistance" – The Hollywood Reporter

"A "stinging" documentary full of "searing" images" – The New York Times

"Forced to smuggle parts of the film out of Belarus, Sackler snags interviews that illuminate the plight of artists without a country who live cut off from family and culture, yet manage by hook or by crook to practice their craft." – Screnner

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