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Creating provocative theatre carries great personal risks: emotional, financial and artistic. For the members of the Belarus Free Theatre, however, there are additional risks: censorship, imprisonment, and worse. Director Madeleine Sackler goes behind the scenes to cover a dramatic year in the life of an acclaimed troupe of imaginative and subversive performers who defy Europe's last remaining dictatorship.
When authorities forbid critical examinations of such topics as sexual orientation, alcoholism, suicide and politics, the Free Theatre responds by injecting these taboos into performances staged underground. But as a dubious presidential election looms, the KGB starts to target the Free Theatre's founders who find themselves torn between fighting for their art and the safety of themselves and their families.
Comprised of smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, Dangerous Acts is an astonishing piece of political cinema, giving audiences a front row seat to a resistance movement as it unfolds both on the stage and in the streets.
What the audience said
'Very interesting and inspiring'
'A very moving, thought-provoking and important topic'
'Fantastic, really powerful and opened me up to issues I wasn't aware of'
WHERE CAN I SEE IT AGAIN?
Click HERE to find out about future screenings.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
The Belarus Free Theatre is not backed by any regular or secure funding. Their future depends upon philanthropy, goodwill and the help of like-minded people. You can donate to the theatre HERE.
HOUSE AN ACTOR
Do you have a spare room? Do you live in London? If so you could help! Giving one actor from the theatre accommodation for a week is the equivalent to a £500 donation to the company and costs you absolutely nothing! In return, you will be given two free tickets to the show as well as thanks in the programme.
Free Belarus Now is a human rights campaign started by Dr Irina Bogdanova, sister of Andrei Sannikov, a former diplomat and the most prominent member of the opposition in Belarus. Click HERE to follow Free Belarus Now on Facebook and find out how you can get involved.
The Belarusian Human Rights House (HRH) addresses the main challenges faced by human rights activists in Belarus - the right to assembly and freedom of expression. This is achieved through the provision of a safe training and meeting space and facilities for human rights defenders, NGOs, journalists, students and teachers, as well as for international meetings and cultural events.
ABOUT BELARUS FREE THEATRE
Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) was founded on 30 March 2005 in Belarus by Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin, who were soon joined by Vladimir Shcherban. Between them, these three developed the artistic aesthetic of the company which has remained the same throughout its existence. They sought political asylum in the UK in 2011 and created a new part of the company in London, while continuing their work with the permanent ensemble left behind in Minsk who perform and tour around the world as Belarus Free Theatre.
While the company is an associate of the Young Vic theatreand works from their London offices, it continues to operate from Minsk where performances are held secretly in small private apartments or houses.
Belarus Free Theatre has performed in over 42 countries around the world and is recognised for its unique role in theatre as well as for its denial of the narrow options offered to it by a contemporary world.
Winner: Golden Butterfly - Movies That Matter Festival 2014
Official Selection: IDFA 2013