Documentary Review: ‘Dangerous Acts Starring The Unstable Elements Of Belarus’ On HBO Is One That Should Be Watched


In a country where history, the media, and the government collude to bury the truth of oppressive dictatorship, a small group of performing artists use their craft to fight back and speak to the world. ‘Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus’ is Madeline Sackler’s eye-opening documentary about the Belarus Free Theater group, which has gained worldwide acclaim for the way it challenges the social and political status quo in its native Belarus through performance arts.

Belarus, a small landlocked country in Eastern Europe, is often referred to as the ‘last dictatorship in Europe.’ This is due largely to its normative violent suppression of challengers to its regime and its continuation of policies enacted while it was part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. So-called democratic elections have been held, but the results have been found to be fraudulent and statistically unlikely. Native protesters against the results typically find themselves arrested or severely beaten.

The film is a culling together of news clips, smuggled footage, and interviews dealing with both the political climate in Belarus and the way the Belarus Free Theater group has responded or been affected. All of the group’s founders are currently exiled in London, but even from so far away they are still involved in the movement.

This is a very informative film about a contemporary revolution that is not well known. The perspective of the individuals involved in the film is captivating and it illustrates that there are ways other than just physical violence to fight against government oppression. This is not an uplifting documentary, but it is one that should be watched.

‘Dangerous Acts’ airs July 7th on HBO at 9pm.

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