Diana El focuses on protest documentary films by Belarusian directors. The text combines several narratives: the author captures the changes in the cultural landscape since the Belarusian protests in 2020, in what conditions the authors are forced to create their films now, and also gives a mini-review of documentaries created by Belarusian cinematographers in 2020–2022. The events of 2020, the repressions by the authorities, the further “cleansing” of the cultural space, the emigration of filmmakers, the survival and recognition of Belarusian cinema in exile – it was important for the author to trace and recreate the processes in the independent cinema of Belarus on the example of documentary filmmakers. Cinema is not born in a vacuum, it is born in a “whirlwind of time”, in social and political conditions; to outline, to show the context in which independent filmmakers create cinema is one of the main tasks of the author. The article also gives mini-reviews on such films as Courage by Aliaksei Paluyan, The Route is Recalculated by Maksim Shved, When Flowers Are Not Silent by Andrei Kutsila, Handbook by Pavel Mozhar. The movies We Did Not Know Each Other Until This Summer by Olga Abramchik, Minsk Barricades by Pavel Niedzvedz, Mara by Sasha Kulak are also mentioned. Cinema as a position, as an ‘act of resistance’, and at the same time, as a statement that requires new artistic means to reflect the changing reality – these moments are noted by Diana El.

Image credit: Still from the film Courage by Aliaksei Paluyan (Living Pictures Production)

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