Since its August 9, 2020 presidential election, Belarus has become the epicenter of a regional clash over how democracy and rule of law should apply to everyday life. Hardliner Alyaksandr Lukashenka, in power since 1994, claims he defeated civil-rights advocate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya to be reelected president. But, amidst reports of rampant electoral fraud, human-rights abuses, and brutal crackdowns on critics, much of Belarus and the international community reject that claim.
We Didn’t Know Each Other Until This Summer revisits the first week of protests and police violence that followed Belarus’ August 9, 2020 presidential election. The film is a chronicle of these events. It is made up entirely of footage shot by the election protests’ participants and witnesses.
Subtitled Documentary: Belarus: Rеcalculating Route
Hanna and Paval are taxi drivers in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. A month before Belarus’ controversial August 9, 2020 presidential elections, their taxis became, in essence, mobile political salons where the two actively debated the Eastern European country’s future with their passengers.
This gallery of portraits and opinions by Belarusian filmmaker Maksim Shved shows us ordinary Belarusians on the eve of the historic events of August 2020. Whose dreams proved closer to reality and what price did the protagonists and the film crew have to pay for them?