About the film
“Everything is different. You’re in the army now,” a sergeant in the Belorussian army greets a newcomer to compulsory military service – under the command of an authoritarian regime where even the most minor form of protest carries harsh consequences.
When Svetlana sent her only son Sasha off to the army during peacetime, she never imagined his body would come back in a coffin. Now she is one of the mothers seeking a fair investigation into crimes in the Belorussian army. She comes up against a system that has consistently trampled on free will and human dignity for decades, turning individuals joining the army into obedient cogs in a violent machine for the purpose of protecting Lukashenko’s regime. Propaganda in the military supports violent crackdowns on peaceful anti-government protests; dissent is not tolerated. In contemporary Belarus, the rights of critics of the regime are being suppressed - as are the rights of those trained by brutal means to protect it.