Madeleine Sackler’s documentary Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus focuses on a theater group performing radical ideas within a country in the grips of a dictatorship.
She says of making a film that was a combination of smuggled and crowdsourced footage, “We were most concerned with safety. We did not want anyone who was participating in the filming process to be harmed, and we were worried that working in the country would draw negative attention to them, so we developed a strategy of working remotely, over Skype, with a fearless underground cinematographer who then smuggled hundreds of hours of footage out of a country that you rarely see depicted on film. This ended up being an essential process, because half of the group remained in exile, so we needed to be filming in two places at once for the better part of a year. Filming at the protests was particularly difficult, and we ended up mainly crowdsourcing that footage. Many people who attended the protests supplied us with raw footage of their experiences there, which I think helps give you the feeling of being there yourself.”
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