A lesson of Belarusian (2006) with English subtitles
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A Lesson of Belarusian is documentary from the former Soviet republic of Belarus.
The country is often labelled the last dictatorship in Europe, ruled by
Aleksander Lukashenko's arbitrary and ruthless iron fist, in which no opposition is
legal to exercise its natural rights. In many ways, the country has fallen back to
its Soviet legacy and replaced the mentality, economics, structures of society,
language, national flag and symbols with that of its Soviet past.
In this atmosphere the documentary follows a young activists who never gives
up believing that Belarus one day will be free and democratic.
Franek Viacorka studies at an elite school (lyceum) established by his father
to promote the Belarusian language and culture. However, the school has been banned
and operating underground since 2003, a victim of the anti-democratic rule
of President Lukashenko. Franek and his classmates are both passionate and
thoughtful, expressing their critical attitude to the government by issuing
an underground newspaper, recording music with activist lyrics and organizing
an opposition concert.
Despite the imprisonment of Franek's father and the constant threat of
their own arrest, they are undeterred. In the March 2006 presidential
re-election, they support the democratic opposition candidate in a mass
demonstration in Minsk's main square. While the candidate is powerless
to combat Lukashenko's corruption and use of riot police,
Franek and his classmates realize that fearlessness is a victory in itself.
The documentary is an eye-opener to the hearts and minds of free activists,
who fight for an idea larger than themselves.
The documentary can also bee seen in its entire length at Youtube
Another great documentary from the forgotten country is Kalinovski Squae,
which also is available in its entire length at Youtube
Kalinovski Square can be seen as a general introduction to the country
and has received many international critic awards, however the movie is
strictly forbidden in the country.
Kalinovski Square can be seen at this link:
A lesson of Belarusian can be seen at this link:
Jul 07 2008, 23:57 CEST
Any query into Lukashenko or Belarus via an internet search engine yields mostly articles condemning Lukashenko. Here's an article and a video that articulate the other side of the story.
Jul 09 2008, 02:20 CEST
True, Lukashenko is truly popular among the older genration and the people in the countryside. However, they haven't heard anything else their entire life then propaganda from the state, and nothing from the opposition, which isn't allowed to argument with their viewpoints. It's the legacy of the soviet system, party, state and administration has melted into one, resulting in a power monopoly which will not tolerate any challenge. Independent research indicate, that Lukashenko probably won the 2006 presidential re-election, but not in the first round, he is only supported by 30-37 % of the population. The rest don't know the opposition or are intimidated to vote on Lukashenko. It's easy to win an election, if your opponents aren't allowed to campaign. So the mentioned article above, is one-sided and doesn't cover the whole context! But Belarus is an interesting phenomenon, as the country opposed shock therapy, and hasn't gone from state run economy to marked economy. The newest research indicates, that the neighbouring countries of Belarus are staring to gain and has a higher standard of living, higher GDP, but also higher employment then Belarus although the countries took of from the same starting point in 1990. So the question of Belarus choosed the right path?
The choice is: An authoritarian president with the wish of a strong state based on market socialism versus a state transforming itself though shock therapy and using the free market to distribute resources? Belarus choosed option one, with the outcome that Belarus is poorer then its neighbouring countries and fell back to its authoritarian past, which is evidently the outcome when the state and country is a hiracial pyramid and all transactions are controlled from the top.
Jul 09 2008, 02:54 CEST
Hm, you obviously have an opinion on the matter. All I can add is that many of those criticisms of Belarus apply to many other countries, such as the US. And it is not obvious to me what is best for the people there, even after watching both of those videos.
Jul 09 2008, 03:01 CEST
Another great documentary about Belarus has been uploaded to OneBig Torrent. It is 'Kalinovski Square' which has received many international critic awards and uses a good sense of irony and humour to depict a dictator. It is completely forbidden in Belarus. Download it at: https://onebigtorrent.org/torrents/3794/Kalinovski-Square
Aug 12 2008, 15:07 CEST
I wonder what the Belarusian anthem is? Could it be the Beatles with 'Back in the USSR'?
Sep 02 2008, 21:08 CEST