18 September 2020, Friday, 23:21
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Andrei Kureichyk: Thousands of Belarusians Turned into Brave Lancelots

Andrei Kureichyk: Thousands of Belarusians Turned into Brave Lancelots
Andrei Kureichyk

A well-known Belarusian film director and playwriter tells about the situation in the country.

July 30, Minsk held a mass rally in support of presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. During the next few days, every city hit its record high regarding participants in the rally: Hrodna - 15 thousand, Baranavichy - 10 thousand, Brest - 20 thousand.

Famous Belarusian film director Andrei Kureichyk shared his impressions about the situation in Belarus with Charter97.org. He spoke at the rally of 70 thousand in Minsk and wished us a new president after August 9:

- It was my debut, my first speech at the rally. I was nervous. I felt incredible emotions because so many people support the changes. I hope I succeeded.

I think this particular rally was unique because it has been the most massive peaceful rally of citizens in the last ten years. The incredible atmosphere based not on hatred, resentment or pain but solidarity, love and faith played its part.

- What did happen to our society? Why do Belarusians hit records high almost every day?

- Thank God, this power has missed the moment when the new generation of Belarusians awakened and started growing as citizens. All the propaganda has always been aimed at preventing people from evolving as citizens who independently and freely manage their will and have a clear and mature position. One has always wanted to turn us into some kind of serfs.

All of a sudden, it turned out that a huge number of people somehow unbeknownst to the authorities reached the level of their civil position. Not only an active political elite but also ordinary people suddenly realized themselves as managers of their country. Now they demand the right to run the country.

- What can you compare to the awakening of the Belarusian people?

- Being interested in history, I know that no dictatorship is eternal. It ends in various ways. However, no dictatorship has been eternal for the last century and a half.

I would compare it to what happened in Chile in 1988. Then Augusto Pinochet unexpectedly, controlling all the state media and the military, lost the referendum. Things we have now are not a presidential election. By and large, this is a vote of no confidence in the authorities. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is not going to be president for a long time, there will be new elections, where we will choose a legitimate head of state.

And now it is a vote of lack of confidence, the same as in Chile in 1988. After those events, Pinochet retained power for a while. However, pressed by the society, he had to resign soon. I do hope that it won't take two years as in Chile.

- At the rally of July 30, you called Siarhei Tsikhanouski Lancelot, and Sviatlana another knight. What are the other analogies between the situation in Belarus and Kill the Dragon movie?

- This movie also shows the way to awakening. The problem of the Soviet regime, the Nazi regime, and almost all dictatorships are that the authorities package the silence of people as their support. Forcing people to keep silent, the authorities said that people supposedly supported them. Both in the movie and life, our task is to show that silence does not mean support. Most likely, it stands against the dictator.

The number of Lancelots is growing. As you can see, Viktar Babaryka or Valery Tsepkala, and Siarhei Tsikhanouski are not the ones to step up. We see three amazing women, and thousands of Belarusians, who kill the dragon in our country.

- Would you like to film the rallies in Belarus? What would you call this movie?

- I would like to make a movie about love. About a great woman who took the burden of her husband and defeated the system. That's what's happening to Sviatlana now. I'd love to tell this story.

I'd call it "Love conquers all things". Because it is true.

- You wished we had a new president on August 9...

- August 9, normal Belarusians will have a new president. As for normal Venezuelans, a normal president is not the usurper Maduro but legally elected Juan Guaido.

We know that the system will surely oppose the will of people. First and foremost, this resistance of the system will require rejection and actions on the part of the people who elected the new President.

It is hard for me to predict the tactics. Anyway, people will win. Marya Kalesnikava is right to say that if the vast majority starts to protest and expresses its disagreement in various forms, the system will not be able to oppose it.

- How do you think the last gasp to victory should look like?

- First, we should realize that we are changing this power. The number of people who more or less actively express their disagreement with this power should amount to hundreds of thousands and even millions.

We have time to disseminate information among those who have not decided yet. If we have such a majority, then any form of protest will lead to success in the future. I am not an expert but I support any form of a protest that leads to our common victory.

- How inspiring can the victory over the dictatorship be for Belarusians? Will these emotions give an impetus to rapid transformation?

- Of course, many problems in Belarus, including economic ones, now relate to the lack of people's confidence in any prospects under this government. Even when it's sunny outside, we feel upset anyway. As soon as we make a difference, we will be able to reach the level of Poland or Lithuania in the shortest possible time.

This feeling of freedom will contribute to it.

Remember, after the war, Germany had FRG and the GDR after the war, a free and non-free country. There are also South and North Korea after the war on the Korean peninsula. Regardless of the wars having waged in all parts of these countries, we see how quickly Germany and South Korea recovered. They were free countries that were trying to build their home. On the other hand, we can see the countries where dictatorships were established.

We have every chance of rapid development after victory. The major thing now is to unite. Whether it will be through the Voice system, or white ribbons, or something else, it does not matter. The main thing is to stand together.