Mara

Sasha Kulak

Dutch premiere

Hybrid documentary video essay about the uprising against Belarussian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko in the summer of 2020. Both an up-close account of the demonstrations and its brave participants, and a poetic ode to the power of the free spirit.

When in August 2020 the people of Belarus rise up against dictator Lukashenko, a young woman walks among them. She is dressed as Mara, a female spirit in Slavic culture, who during sleep brings dreams or nightmares. At first, she is inspired by the optimism of the demonstrations. ‘It’s impossible to stay home,’ she says in the voice-over. But when the riot police cars arrive, the atmosphere becomes grim.

Penetrating footage of the demonstrations – with the ever-present threat of the riot police and people taken off the streets and shoved into vans by men in balaclavas – is interspersed with dreamlike images. Throughout, a beautiful voice-over conveys the despair, hope and fighting spirit of the protestors and of the woman herself. Dedicated to those ‘who were stripped of their freedoms in their fight for justice’.

Credits

Director
Sasha Kulak
Producer
Louis Beaudemont
Year
2022
Country of production
France, United Kingdom
Type
Documentary
Duration
61 minutes
Spoken language
Belorussian, Russian
Subtitles
EN
Production company
Les Steppes Productions
World Sales
East Silver Caravan