Belarusian cinema has a long and rich history – the last decades have seen everything from Soviet films through to contemporary arthouse movies.
Whether you are planning to come to Belarus or just want to understand our country a better – spare a weekend to watch this list of the top films that will help you with that.
The movies were drawn up in chronological order, so if you are looking for modern-day flicks, feel free to scroll down!
Girl Seeks Father
A 1959 drama film was the fifth film in the Soviet Union in terms of the box office. It was watched by over 35 million spectators, which makes it the third watched Belarusian film ever.
The film was set during World War II and is about a 5-year-old girl looking for her partisan leader father wanted by the Nazis. Little girl and her rescuers will have to go through a lot on their path of hope.
Across the Cemetery
UNESCO included this military tape of 1964 in the list of 100 most significant films about World War II. The action takes place in the autumn of 1942 when the Nazis approached Stalingrad.
A group of Belarusian partisans should undermine the German military echelons. They send a young guy on a deadly mission who should bring hidden shells from the mechanic’s guardhouse.
And when it seemed that the hard part is over, Mikhas is confronted with the Germans…
The film is based on one of the most famous novels of Vasily Bykov about the flight for freedom made by a Belarusian soldier and an Italian girl from a Nazi concentration camp.
The soldier wonders if he should get rid of the girl; she is a burden and is slowing him down. However, he cannot bring himself to abandon her in the snowy wilderness.
Somewhere along the way, the two develop feelings for each other, but their love is not destined to grow beyond the edge of the mountains. Yet their bond cannot be denied, and proves stronger than death itself.
King Stakh’s Wild Hunt
A mystical drama is based on a novel by Uladzimir Karatkievich published in 1964. The story is told on behalf of the main character, who is 96 years old who still has vivid memories of what happened to him when he was young.
The story occurred somewhere at out-of-the-way Belarusian woodlands, when he, a young ethnographer, lost his way during a rainstorm and found himself at a family castle. This when weird things started to begin.
White Dew is certainly one of the most famous Belarusfilm films. Shot it in Grodno, it was released on the eve of perestroika, so one won’t see any Soviet propaganda.
A small Belarusian village is becoming absorbed into a big town. Meanwhile, villagers are resettling in the city apartments and trying to sort out their complex relationships.
Come and See
A battle between despair and hope. The film focuses upon the Nazi German occupation of Belarus, and primarily upon the events witnessed by a young partisan teenager named Flora.
The boy who despite his parents’ wishes joins the Belarusian resistance movement, and whose continued survival amidst the brutal debris of war becomes increasingly nightmarish.
Come and See had to wait eight years for approval from Soviet authorities before it was finally produced to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II.
My Name Is Harlequin
My name is Harlequin is the highest-grossing film in the history of Belarusian cinema, which became a public phenomenon in the second half of the 1980s.
The crime drama truthfully showed youth problems in the mid-1980s by telling a story of a group of teens who call themselves “wolves” and often go “to rest” — in search of thrills.
Each of them considers their prospects in life without money or influence, and none of them has much to look forward to.
In August of 1944
An exciting military detective story! As the title implies, actions take place at the war’s end, the territory of Belarus has already been liberated, but enemy agents are still operating.
A special counter-intelligence unit is given only three days to find a German radio operator posing as a Soviet soldier, on the eve of a major offensive. Will they be able to accomplish their mission?