Updated at 22:10,27-11-2020

Propaganda and cinema: Abel vs Viva Belarus

by Andrei Kureichyk, charter97.org

Belarusian propaganda plans a response to Viva Belarus movie.

Producer Siarhei Zhdanovich, knowns as a producer of UNDP series Above the Sky, who picked by the Belarusian Ministry of Culture and Lukashenka's Administration for the project The Square of Love (Abel), which is supposed to become a Belarusian official response to the Polish political drama Viva Belarus by Krzysztof Lukaszewicz (script by Franak Viachorka).

The new national film project offers an "objective" view of the Belarusian authorities on the story of the post-election protests in December 2010 and shows the "anatomy of Belarusian protests". The film, which is supervised by Lukashenka's administration, has one of the biggest budgets in the history of Belarusian cinema.

The script of The Square of Love is kept in secrecy, but the shooting is said to begin in spring 2014. The movie will be directed by a Belarusian. A famous Russian film director will be invited as an art director. Alexander Kott, the author of The Brest Fortress, is said to have received the invitation, but Siarhei Zhdanovich will have the full control over the production and creative process.

One of the movie characters is an American journalist, who arrives in Belarus in the dramatic period of December 2010 and sees the "truth". Producer Zhdanovich plans to invite a Hollywood star for this role. The movie must destroy the "stereotypes" of the international community about the Belarusian authorities and the 2010 election, show the real "truth" through the prism of a touching love story. Like Viva Belarus, the movie is planned to be shown at international festivals.