After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the federal state of Belarus regained its independence. The cautious democratisation process was nipped in the bud when in 1994 Alexander Lukashenko won the presidential elections and went on to reign with an iron fist. Nevertheless, journalists try to do their job, which can easily take on the character of political activism, because the freedom of expression is systematically undermined under Lukashenko. Journalists is the portrait of a few Belarusian reporters in their brave attempts to practise their trade. A critical comment can easily be stamped an insult of the head of state,"that is treason." For example, Tatiana was arrested when she reported on the irregularities during the 2006 elections. Svetlana, chief editor of an underground daily, explains that every serious newspaper is subversive. A journalist making some extra money with dog breeding refuses to behave like a lap dog. A cameraman who has disappeared into thin air is only seen on archive footage. A mother reassures her child that mommy should not be considered a criminal if people put her behind bars. A poet who ostentatiously sewed together his lips went into exile in Norway after being arrested for "a rebellious poem". There, he found out that Belarus remains inseparable from him.
Volha Nikalaichyk for Bramafilm
Aleh Dashkevich for ADKpradukcyja
ARD/MDR, Multicanal Iberia S.L.U.