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Belarusian filmmakers have discussed in their films many of the events that have marked the history of this country. Many of these films have won prestigious awards in international film festivals around the world and have been on screen for weeks and even months in countries as far away as Mexico.
Come and See by Eliem Klimau was inspired by the killings of many Belarussian villagers in World War II when Nazi troops burnt them alive. The film is the patient and horrified look onto the depths of violence and human suffering. This film was shown at many international festivals and was shown with great success worldwide.
Set also in World War II, Andrei Kudeinenko' s Mysterium Occupation deals with the difficult in-between position of Belarussian villagers between Communist and Nazi armies. The film was shot when Kudeinenko got a Hubert Bals award after his short film got excellent reviews at Rotterdam International Festival. It was the first independent feature film shot in Belarus.
With the intention of showing an unknown aspect of Belarussian heritage, Yuri Ylekhov shot Anastasia of Slusk, a period film set in the 16th century that follows the epics of princess Anastasia Sluskaya. It got a prize for best adventure film at the World Film Festival in Houston.
Chernobyl ecological disaster and its surprising effect on a Belarusian village are the topic for Alexei and the Spring. Director Seiichi Motohashi shot this documentary in Budische, a village declared extinct after Chernobyl. Budische still exists as 56 old villagers as well as Alexei stayed as the village spring gives them pure water to sustain their lives.