screenplay and direction: Mirosław Dembiński
photography: Michał Ślusarczyk
                    Maciej Szafnicki
                    Remigiusz Przełożny
                    Dariusz Załuski

editing: Mirosław Dembiński

2007 / Betacam / 53 min

--watch trailer--



The film is in a way the continuation of the previous one entitled „A Lesson of Belarusian”, which showed a protest of young people against the recent fake presidential elections in Belarus. The protest got brutally pacified by militia forces. Despite that, young Belarusians did not give in; they keep fighting the regime. This time they use slightly different methods. Their weapons are music, humour and an ironic distance to the absurd reality. Each form of regime has two sides: the dangerous one and the ridiculous one. “Music Partisans” describes the latter.


Special Jury Mention at the Human Rights Documentary Film Days Ukrainian Context in Kiev  (Ukraine) 2008
First prize (ex aequo) in documentary section at the Independent Polish Film Festival in Zawiercie (Poland) 2008
Prize for the Best Documentary at the Optimistic Film Festival „Multimedia HAPPY END” in Rzeszów (Poland) 2008
Prize of City of Neubrandenburg at the DokumentART European Film Festival Neubrandenburg/Stettin (Germany – Poland) 2008
Award of the Student Jury at the DokumentART European Film Festival Neubrandenburg/Stettin (Germany – Poland) 2008
Audience Award at the DokumentART European Film Festival Neubrandenburg/Stettin (Germany – Poland) 2008
Special Prize of Governor of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship at the Polish-wide Independent Review of Documentary Film “Nurt 2008” in Kielce (Poland) 2008
Honorable Diploma at the Media Festival „Man in Danger” in Łódź (Poland) 2008
Audience Award at the TRANZYT Documentary Film Festival in Poznań (Poland) 2009


Music partisans" | An interview with Ally Derks – IDFA Director

(…)This year a lot of documentaries are saying, "Come on, we have a different story to tell from what you see on the news." The media is fragmented through different channels and broadcasters. There's so-called objectivity for ten minutes. That's how we form our opinion. Now filmmakers want the barricade. They want activism. Art as a weapon. (…) We're showing “Music Partisans”, set in Minsk's Kalinovski Square, about the bands playing music and political protests. It's by Mirosław Dembiński, who did “A Lesson of Belarusian”. I call him the Michael Moore of Belarus.

Music partisans |

The director who has been making films about our Eastern neighbours over the last few years (“Dwarfs go to Ukraine”, amongst others) has managed to avoid a stereotype pattern. “Music Partisans” is not an ordinary documentary about protests in Belarus filled with archives of opposition demonstrators. This film blows you away. This is an energetic manifest of democracy, freedom of thought and speech.

Music partisans” |

“Music Partisans” is cinema which makes you think, which moves you and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Dembiński shows us modern partisans, young people who are fighting for important reasons. They are willing to make huge sacrifices, even though their goal seems to be unreachable.