About fear

A week ego I had a privilege to watch works competing in the final round of the Polish edition of the 2010 Democracy Video Challenge (http://www.videochallenge.america.gov/index.html). One of the two winners already chosen by the Jury (we could vote to select the third one) was a documentary style impression from Belorussia.

The video shows glimpses of students’ life, street commotions, the opposition activities. Among a few characters presented is Aleksander Milinkevich, the opposition leader, a former presidential candidate.

Politics in Belorussia is not for the timid. It’s a tough, brutal and dangerous struggle. It seems that once you start rocking the boat - intimidation, arrests, beatings are possible at any moment. At the end of this short (got to be under 3 min.) piece, the filmmaker asks Milinkevich:

The filmmaker: - Aren’t you afraid?”

The response is immediate, with wide open, curious and warm eyes, containing a mixture of curiosity, amusement, certainty, commitment and power. All communicated with a smile:

Milinkevich: - “Of what?”

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