WATCH DOCS often features films about Belarus – “Europe’s last dictatorship” continues to inspire filmmakers. But this year’s "Made in BY" is a documentary that differs from other films about the country as it shows no political prisoners, repressed opposition figures or street protests put down by force. Instead, you’ll meet Belarussian artists who decided to make art while in the pincers of a well-oiled fear machine; artists who chose to stay despite an exodus of their peers.
There are two kinds of Belarussian artists: those who take the role of participating in mainstream art life and those who pick independence and pay a high price. The protagonists of "Made in BY" are the latter; they refuse the roles they’ve been given in this "theater of the absurd." The loss of a university job for setting up colorful cubes in the public space is just one of many examples. “Made in BY” is a fresh look at Belarus through the eyes of people who chose art as a weapon of freedom, a freedom for which many others stopped dreaming long ago. [msz]