Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus

USA 2013, Documentary, 76’ | Director Madeleine Sackler | DoP Daniel Carter, Larissa Kabernik | Editor Ann Barliant, Leigh Johnson | Sound Steve Bourne | Music Wendy Blackstone | Production Great Curve Films | Distribution Dogwoof Global

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, bans on working, imprisonment. Director Madeleine Sackler goes behind the scenes with the troupe of artists who defy Europe’s last remaining dictatorship. The Belarus Free Theatre reacts to the thought police and other repressive measures with underground performances. David against Goliath on the alternative scene.

Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus picks up the story in 2010 when the KGB is cracking down on dissenters, sixteen years after Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko took power during the breakup of the Soviet Union. Now, as a new election looms, the KGB targets the Free Theatre‘s founders Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Koliada. Torn between their political engagement and their families’ safety, they continue their work in exile in New York and London.

Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus is the third feature documentary with Madeleine Sackler as director. Her first documentary, The Lottery, sparked a renewed debate on the future of public education and was shortlisted for the 2011 Academy Awards. Duke 91 & 92: Back to Back, her second film, was co-produced by Turner Sports and gave viewers an inside look at one of the most storied basketball programmes in history. Madeleine Sackler is the co-founder of M&J Creative, a new media company. A DUKE ‚05 alumna with a degree in biopsychology, she has previously worked as a freelance editor for television, commercials and documentaries.

Madeleine Sackler