Posted: 17.02.2022 15:23:00

A lesson of courage and bravery

Belarusfilm presented the film Fire Under the Ashes, whose authors were instructed by officers of the Anti-Mine Centre for the Armed Forces

A year and a half of extremely complex filming, documentary chronicle of the late 1940s and comprehensive support from the Ministry of Defence. The first screening of the new feature film Fire Under the Ashes was held only for members of the production team, journalists and other interested persons. However, if everything works well, the new release will be televised on domestic TV channels by February 23th. The story tells of volunteers who were engaged in demining Minsk and its surroundings, by the way, the director Ivan Pavlov managed to neatly associate the historical plot with modern times. The second storyline — is about those who defuse the shells of the Great Patriotic War in the line of duty today. Part of the filming was held on the territory of the Anti-Mine Centre for the Armed Forces.
Not only filmmakers but also specialists from various departments of the Ministry of Defence were involved in the complex staging process, where everything rumbles and explodes, said Vladimir Karachevsky, Director General of Belarusfilm,
“The film accurately captured our time and raises such an important topic as the interest of preserving peace and security for present and future generations. This sounds especially important in the Year of Historical Memory.

This is a film about life and of continuity of generations, heroism and memory, a heroic past and a peaceful future. We would also like to dedicate this film to the 105th anniversary of the Belarusian army, which will take place in 2023.”
The screenplay was written by Lyudmila Peregudova and Yulia Leshko, who, among others, had already worked together on the popular domestic TV series Oh, Mommy!
Vyacheslav Dunaev became the director of photography, and Ivan Pavlov was chosen as the film director. It should be noted that Ivan easily found a common language with the military, since he himself served in the army.
Just imagine: specialists of the Anti-Mine Centre discovered and defused more than 25,000 ammunition in 2021. The figure is spectacular — you can even see it in the credits for the film.
“Moreover, there are so many shells in the Belarusian ground that it will take at least another five years to finish the work,” said Ivan Pavlov, “and we must understand that all these guys are professional soldiers. That is, in fact, they continue the work of those volunteers who joined the ranks of the Society for the Assistance of Defence, Aircraft and Chemical Construction (Osoaviakhim) after the war and were engaged in demining Minsk and its surroundings in order to contribute to building a peaceful life in Belarus.”

Together with the production team, the Bobruisk Fortress returned in 1945, where part of the exterior shooting took place. Darya Karpechenkova, the actress of the Cinema Actor’s Theatre Studio, played a medical student Lenochka — one of the main characters of the post-war storyline, however, it was her first big film role. Anastasia Krishtapovich, the last year’s graduate of the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts, and now the actress of the Belarusian State Youth Theatre, played the main role in a modern times storyline.
People’s Artist of Belarus Aleksandr Tkachenok turned into her cinematic grandfather, and Maxim Ponimatchenko, an actor of the Republican Theatre of Belarusian Drama, played her father. According to the plot, he is the grandson of one of the post-war sappers, serves in the Anti-Mine Centre and is engaged in humanitarian demining.
The art cinematography was supplemented with a documentary chronicle showing the destroyed Minsk and hundreds of people involved in the reconstruction of the city, often at the risk of their lives. Contemporaries continue their noble legacy.
“There are two time lines in the film, but people do the same work. You know, it is believed that the war is not over until the last soldier is buried. We have a slightly different view: the war is not over until the last shell is found and destroyed,” added Ivan Pavlov.

The medal ‘For Courage’ that viewers can see in the film is real.
One of the officers was awarded the medal for exceptional bravery

By Yuliana Leonovich
Photos by Alexandr Gorbash