Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Cottbus 2022

Julia and Pasha are a young couple in love. They are dreaming about starting a family in Minsk in 2020, where they live a normal life. Suddenly, everything changes, when they find themselves in the middle of the political protests. Facing violence and torture by the police they are confronted with a feeling of helplessness and the question, how you can fight “fair” for your own existence and values.

Minsk shows how especially the young people of Minsk are not willing to accept their totalitarian government anymore. They have not given up and fight for their human rights like democracy and freedom. This gets especially obvious in a conversation between Julia, Pasha and one protestant, who has rescued them from their police captivity. The comparison of a football game to the protestant raises the ethical question, which rules apply in a conflict like this and how those, who do not play by the rules could be “sent off”. Moreover, the movie depicts how toxic a connection between the institutional church and a totalitarian system could be. 

This one-shot-movie thrills its audience through its combination of plot and cinematographic style and lets no one leave the cinema untouched.

(Photo: © Leo Film)