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Laura Bialis: Articles


'Refusenik': Q&A with Director Laura Bialis

Laura Bialis' documentary Refusenik chronicles the thirty-year grassroots movement to free Soviet Jews. (Read Ella Taylor's positive – if sobering – review in The Village Voice.) Refusenik is told through the eyes of the activists, among them those then living in the Soviet Union – some of whom were punished for their efforts. Much of the material used in the documentary is exclusive, including first-ever filmed interviews with several Refuseniks and covert film footage smuggled out of the Soviet Union. Filmmaker Laura Bialis has kindly agreed to answer (via e-mail) a few questions about Refusenik. See below. (See also the Laura Bialis-John Ealer q&a about their documentary View from the Bridge: Stories from Kosovo.) Photos: © 2008 Foundation for Documentary […]


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'Refusenik': Q&A with Director Laura Bialis



'View from the Bridge' Q&A

VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Part I What was it like to make a movie in Kosovo, one of the world's most volatile areas? LB: Kosovo used to be extremely volatile; production of the film was actually delayed over a year because of outbreaks of violence. When we filmed in 2005, there definitely was some tension there, but it didn't really feel that unsafe. JE: Some people told us we should bring flak jackets on the shoot. We didn't, and we didn't need them. Kosovo is not extremely dangerous – it's not a walk down Main Street, USA, either, for sure – and we do try to depict the dangers and trepidations we faced in the film itself. We did have […]


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'View from the Bridge' Q&A



'View from the Bridge: Stories from Kosovo': Q&A with Filmmakers John Ealer and Laura Bialis

Directed by John Ealer and Laura Bialis (above), View from the Bridge: Stories from Kosovo, described on the film's official website as “the first documentary feature about post-war Kosovo,” was recently screened at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The bridge in question is located in the town of Mitrovica, which has become a flashpoint in the ethno-cultural clashes between Muslim Albanians, Christian Serbs, and Roma (Gypsies). In order to portray the differences – and similarities – among those disparate groups, Ealer and Bialis opted for a personal approach to their subject matter. Thus, View from the Bridge relies on first-person accounts – “sometimes hopeful, sometimes tragic” – of the lives of those suffering the physical and emotional […]


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'View from the Bridge: Stories from Kosovo': Q&A with Filmmakers John Ealer and Laura Bialis