Debut

    • Anastasiya Miroshnichenko
    • Belarus
    • 2017
    • 80 min
    • World Premiere
    • IDFA Competition for First Appearance
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    Over 1,500 women are detained in a Belarus prison for first-time offenders. Eleven of them have volunteered to take part in a theater play. Their reasons vary: some see it as a small break from the tedium of prison life, some regard it as therapy, and others approach it as a practice run for when they return to society. The rehearsals serve as the leitmotif for this balanced portrait that subtly frees these women from the stigma of being criminals. The women talk as mothers, daughters and wives. They miss their families and wrestle with the guilt of losing so many years behind bars. The director uses various techniques to present these women as three-dimensional characters: close-up interviews about their fears, beautifully framed shots of the daily collective routines of jail life, images from surveillance cameras that emphasize how their lives are controlled, and of course their debut on the professional stage. By then, you almost feel as if you’ve landed in a feel-good movie with a happy ending, but the director doesn’t let it get that far.

    Credits

    • 80 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: Russian
    • Subtitles in: English
    Director
    Anastasiya Miroshnichenko
    Production
    Viktar Labkovich for PervajaKinoVideo Company
    Executive producer
    Darya Labkovich for PervajaKinoVideo Company
    Cinematography
    Alexander Moroz
    Editing
    Varfalamey Kuraga
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    IDFA history

    2017
    World Premiere
    IDFA Competition for First Appearance

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    IDFA history