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Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus

United Kingdom | 2013 | 76 minutes | Madeleine Sackler

Facing tyranny, KGB raids, and even exile, the members of the Belarus Free Theatre perform their internationally acclaimed, uncensored live dramas as an act of defiance against Europe’s last surviving Communist dictatorship.

May 21, 2014
AMC Pacific Place 11  
9:30 PM Date has passed

Director Madeleine Sackler scheduled to attend

May 23, 2014
AMC Pacific Place 11  
4:00 PM Date has passed

Director Madeleine Sackler scheduled to attend

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Creating provocative theater carries great personal risks: emotional, financial, and artistic. For members of the Belarus Free Theatre, there are additional risks including censorship and imprisonment, for starters. Director Madeleine Sackler (whose 2010 documentary on the United States educational system, The Lottery, was shortlisted for the Oscars®) monitors their subversive movements in the underground art scene of one of Europe’s last dictatorships. Dangerous Acts picks up in 2010, as the KGB cracks down on dissenters including Belarus Free Theatre’s founders Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Koliada. “Even when none of us knew what would be happening next, it was possible to make art out of an absolutely horrible year,” says Kaliada, who post-filming, lives in London. “I believe it helped us to survive as human beings.” The subjects the company explores onstage include sexual orientation, alcoholism, suicide and politics—uncomfortable for any culture to broach and for others, completely taboo. This illuminating real-life drama, featuring smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, follows Khalezin and Koliada and their colleagues as they decide how to best protect their art as well as the safety of their families.

Director Biography

Madeleine Sackler is the director and producer of Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus, her third feature documentary. Her first documentary, The Lottery, sparked a renewed debate on the future of public education and was shortlisted for the 2011 Academy Awards®. Duke 91 & 92: Back to Back, her second film, was co-produced with Turner Sports and gave viewers an inside look at one of the most storied basketball programs in history. In addition to founding her production company, Great Curve Films, Madeleine is the co-founder of M&J Creative, a new media company dedicated to producing interactive, long form content. A Duke '05 alum, she has a B.S. in biopsychology and previously worked as a freelance editor for television, commercials, and documentaries.

Director: Madeleine Sackler
Premier Status: US Premiere
Country: United Kingdom, USA, Belarus
Year: 2013
Running Time: 76 minutes
Producer: Madeleine Sackler
Screenplay: Madeleine Sackler
Cinematographers: Daniel Carter, Larissa Kabernik
Editors: Anne Barliant, Leigh Johnson
Music: Wendy Blackstone
Website: Official Film Website
Filmography: Duke 91 & 92: Back to Back (2012);The Lottery (2010)
Language: Russian, Belarussian, English
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Dogwoof
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