Themis as a Lady of Loose Morals (image 1)

Viktar Dashuk's shocking and compelling film examines the origins of oppression in contemporary Belarus, skillfully crafting a condemning indictment.

Hot Docs

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Themis as a Lady of Loose Morals 2008

Femida

Directed by Viktar Dashuk

“Shocking and compelling… skillfully crafting a condemning indictment of the Belarusian social justice system and of President Alexander Lukashenko’s brutal authoritarian regime.” — Hot Docs

Belarus In Belarusian and Russian with English subtitles
85 minutes Beta-SP

Director, Producer, Photography

Editor

Wjatscheslaw Asljuk

This scathing, all-out exposé of the Belarusian social justice system and of President Alexander Lukashenko's brutal regime is as galvanising as any political documentary I've ever seen. It's not just the shocking content – the on-the-spot footage of political dissidents being whisked into oblivion – it's the controlled ferocity of the filmmaker's anger as he reveals wave after wave of abuse. In this documentary he outlines the steps by which the legal system has fallen under Lukashenko's exclusive control, amassing damning evidence to draw a direct line from the methods of Stalin to the rule of the new dictator. Eschewing straight journalism, Dashuk, who studied with Tarkovsky, makes no bones about putting his case forward by adding his own sarcastic commentary to official propaganda films. His title refers to Themis, goddess of justice and morality, now degraded beyond recognition into whoredom. Considering that he lives under constant surveillance, Dashuk's coverage is astonishing. Considering the thuggery he shows us, his bravery is even more so. — BG