PBS Premiere: August 12, 2008
Belarus has been called "Europe's last dictatorship." Since 1994, Alexander Lukashenko has ruled the ex-Soviet republic with a despotic hand, jailing the opposition, shutting down the press and refusing to investigate the assassinations of dissidents. He has virtually silenced his critics — but not one lone performance artist who stages public stunts mocking the dictator's pretensions. Belarusian Waltz is the story of Alexander Pushkin, whose audacious, comical exploits find him facing the hostility of the police and the consternation of his family. An offbeat tale of post-modern street theater meeting 1930s-style authoritarianism, the film offers a surprising window into the soul of the Belarusian people.
Belarusian Waltz (60 min.)
I turned on the PBS channel and was so happy to hear Belarusian language and see the scenery of my homeland! By the end of the show I felt disappointed and angry. I feel a bit embarrassed that the world will see this odd person and think all Belarusians are like that.”
— Olia Melnikava, viewer
Buy the Film
Belarusian Waltz provides a glimpse into how the regime causes people to censor themselves. ”
— Meredith Greene Megaw,