In his previous work, A Lesson of Belorussian, the Polish director Miroslav Dembinski used interviews with young people to make a documentary about president Aleksandr Lukashenko's reign of terror in Belarussia. In Music Partisans, he elaborates on the theme, this time from the perspective of a number of rock bands. Through their music they try to touch on the problems in Belarussia. The musicians met each other in Poland, since protest songs are forbidden in Belarussia. Or as they put it: "The truth cannot be told or sung." Dembinski follows them to Belarus, where after many (cancelled) underground concerts they eventually end up in Minsk, "because we can only change something over here." The (cynical) historical interpretation of the strict regime comes from two musicians who were interviewed on the back seat of a car, Dembinski interlaces their protest songs with poignant archive images of, for example, the militia that hard-handedly stops protest marches. The film ends with the elections of 2006 that, as was expected, ended in a victory for Lukashenko. Thousands of demonstrators, including the musicians, gather at October Square, but after a few days they are arrested with force. In jail, however, they will not let them take away their ideals. Here, the protest songs simply continue. "If you're afraid, nothing ever changes."
Miroslaw Dembinski for Film Studio Everest
Maciej Szafnicki, Michal Slusarczyk, Remigiusz Przelozny