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Film Festival Review: Themis as a Lady of Loose Morals

Film Festival Review: Themis as a Lady of Loose Morals 


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FilmJunkieJake

PART 2
Dashuk utilises archival television footage with a range of personally recorded material which he cuts together juxtaposing the party propaganda with actual events often with the monologues of express innocence playing over the top of the violent actions that actually occur. Hence the director’s title Themis: an ancient Greek Goddess representing justice – which has long since forsaken poor Belarus. The director, and hence we, are party to political kidnappings, crowd control via the police baton, and obstruction of the elected parliament as Lukashenko makes good on his public promises to stamp out all dissent. Particularly cutting and clever is Dashuk's likening of the regime to a serial killer from the eighties who proclaimed on camera that the law applies to others but not to him. Considering context, the rough production values are completely understandable and ultimately Themis is a moving indictment of political repression occuring in the world today.

Fri July 24, 2009 2:02AM


FilmJunkieJake

PART1
Wow! Themis as a Lady of Loose Morals may have a very clear bias but I think the director has earned the right to make all his cutting voiceover remarks. A cinematic critique of the rule of Belarusian president (read: dictator) Alexander Lukashenko, director Viktar Dashuk's camera is in the thick of the political dissent and the fallout. A wanted man in his home country the director really does appear to take his life into his own hands - the camera providing a thin veneer of security (officials don't want to be filmed in the act of repression) whilst simultaneously marking his as a threat to be neutralised. In fact at we get a disturbing first person perspective of what it is like to be man-handled to the ground.

Fri July 24, 2009 1:55AM



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