Image for Handbook




After the presidential election in Belarus in August 2020, protests were contained by a system of repression that is reconstructed in the director's room in Berlin.

Content warning: descriptions of torture

It all starts in the director’s room. Berlin, August 2020. A white space, five and a half metres by four. Sparse but made cosy by a collection of plants, book shelves, a colourful pillow and sunlight coming in through the window. On the computer screen, images of protests. Alexander Lukashenko just got elected, and the people of Belarus are on the streets. Over the course of a few days, seven thousand people are arrested by the special police – whether demonstrators or passers by.

Now emptied, the director’s room becomes a site for reconstituting the horrific predicaments they went through. A dispassionate voice reads out the victims’ testimonies of physical and mental torture.

The motions are methodically reenacted by actors wearing identical outfits. A carefully choreographed system of pain, terror and humiliation emerges in all of its absurd violence, heightened by the set-up and its limitations – the film was shot in lockdown, in a single space.

Mozhar’s work is a brilliant, sobering and urgent piece of documentary filmmaking that sheds light on a contemporary tragedy and exposes the disturbingly familiar workings of state violence.

Manon Euler 

Director's filmography: Vizitator (2019), Holger (2017)

  • Director Pavel Mozhar
  • Country Belarus, Germany
  • Year 2021
  • Duration 26 min
  • UK Premiere


Spatial Hunger: In The Unseen

See all shorts

banknote calendar-02 calendar close down-chevron facebook filter google-plus left-arrow-02 mail play-icon right-arrow search shopping-basket small-play-icon tick twitter up-arrow