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Belarusian Ministry of Culture bans “The Locals” play


The Ministry of Culture’s Cinema and video production registration and classification directorate has denied registration to the television drama shot to the order of Belsat TV channel.

Documents for registration of the film were submitted back in July. For a few months officials postponed the decision, justifying themselves by formal inaccuracies. In the end of September the answer was received. One of the official reasons for the denial was a low quality of sound, Nasha Niva informs.

“Besides, the sense and the artistic purpose of the work of art by the Belarusian people’s poet Yanka Kupala is distorted in this film, which creates a wrong impression of the creative works of the Belarusian literature classic writer, injures his dignity. In the final part of the film chauvinism and national exceptionality are found, which is intolerable,” writes V, Kurlovich, the director of the Cinema and video production registration and classification directorate.

According to Belasat TV channel, the reasons for registration denial are deeper. Director Valer mazynski and Dariusz Szada-Bazaszkowski remind that until very recently the play “The Locals” (“Tutejshyja”) staged by Pinigin enjoyed great popularity, but it was removed from the stock of plays of Yanka Kupala Theatre. And the play itself was prohibited over the whole Soviet period.

The television drama “The Locals” made by Mazynski and Bazaszkowski has almost exact text of Kupala’s tragicomedy. To say that the drama has a chauvinistic nature, is as groundless as accuse Kupala of chauvinism.

The state registration allows to distribute cinema production, organize free and commercial screenings, and which is more important- legally.

It is not the first independent film in Belarusian, which exhibition is banned in Belarus. Earlier the same situation was with “Occupation” by Andrei Kudzinenka, which hadn’t stopped the film from receiving prestigious international prizes. Documentaries by Khashchavatski demonstrated in dozens of countries had success abroad. Films about Vasil Bykau were banned too.

Belarus remains the last country in Europe where political censorship in the sphere of culture persists.

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