A heart-warming portrait documentary “Shusha” explores in intimate atmosphere the daily life of Stanislav Stanislavovich Shushkevich, the first head of state of Belarus. What is his daily routine like and what is on mind of a man, who a quarter of a century ago initiated Belavezha accords, signed by Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, which were the basis to effectively dissolve
the Soviet Union.
Shushkevich, who every now and then likes to play Vyssotski’s earlier songs on a piano just to himself or his closest friends, is one of the Great Men of contemporary history, whose ‘domino effect’ initiative caused a geopolitical shift in Europe.
However, what Shushkevich himself considers as his greatest achievement is not sending ‘a sixth of the planet’ to meet its maker but making a post-independent Belarus a nuclear weapon free state. “Shusha” is a positive story about a theme of remaining a human being.
Other important themes include the position of ethnicity, language and culture, for the Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians differ from each other quite a bit regarding mentality, culture and social attitudes.
Stanislav Stanislavovich Shushkevich is the first head of state of Belarus, who holds doctorate degrees in both Physics and Mathematics. In the early 1960’s he taught Russian to Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged would-be murderer of the President John F. Kennedy, while he was working in Minsk at the electronics plant Gorizont. In December 1991, Shushkevich, along with the Russia’s then leader Boris Yeltsin and Ukraine’s then head of state Leonid Kravchuk, signed the so-called Belavezha accords that effectively dissolved the Soviet Union and formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The authoritarian government of Belarus paid him pension until 2016 mere 33 euro cents per month.
Shushkevich has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Aivar Valdre has been for more than two decades the chief editor of foreign desk at Baltic News Service (BNS) news agency in Estonia.
Lauri Lippmaa is an Estonian filmmaker with educational background both in political science and screenwriting and has worked for seven years as a foreign desk editor at BNS.
Authors: AIVAR VALDRE, LAURI LIPPMAA
Cinematographer: LARISSA KABERNIK
Editor: KERSTI MIILEN
Sound designer: KRISTJAN KURM
Composer: SVEN SOSNITSKI
Producer: ANNELI AHVEN
Production: KOPLI KINOKOMPANII
69 min / DCP / Estonia 2016
Get in touch
Anneli Ahven, producer
Ph. +372 5562 2041
Kaspar Kaljas, producer
Ph. +372 5566 4877