BESLAN

THE FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL

By Maciej DEJCZER

FEDERICO FILM - as PROD

Drama - Development 2013


    • Year of production
    • 2013
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • POLAND
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 85 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Maciej DEJCZER
    • Synopsis
    • August 31st 2004, a thirteen-year-old Zubar Ramiszwili has his band of friends. They practice their drill because they want to become fighters. At night Zubar sneaks with his band onto the school ground taking advantage of some ditches and tunnels known only to him, there is some repair work being done at school. The band wants to play war but the janitor busts them. All the boys run away, except for Zubar’s younger brother , seven-year-old Aleks, completely paralyzed with fear.
      Zubar wavers but eventually he doesn’t come back for his brother, he’s just happy that he himself got away. The janitor brings Aleks home, but the boy doesn’t give his older brother in.
      The next day their father brings Zubar and Aleks to school. For the seven-year-old it’s his first day of school. When the school celebrates the start of the school year Chechnyan terrorists from Basajew’s group enter the city. Then they enter the school, close it, hang explosives on the walls and move all the children and adults to the gym. Knowing all the passageways Zubar manages to escape, but his brother is left behind.
      Specnaz surrounds the school. All the parents, including Zubar’s and Aleks’s, and media arrive. Some hostages are released but a shootout breaks out. There are first casualties. The situation at the gym becomes more difficult for everyone. Children are exhausted and start fainting. The terrorists start snapping easily. One of the girls gets shot dead because she hasn’t given up her phone fast enough. By a miracle Aleks doesn’t get shot when he doesn’t want to show what he has in his pocket. It was a small toy car that he’s got from his brother.
      Zubar returns to the school and manages to get to the gym. He wants to smuggle his younger brother out. They manage to pass the terrorists’ posts and are already next to a ditch when Specnaz start firing. Both of them have to go back to the gym – explaining to the terrorists that Aleks needed to go pee.
      There is no other option for the brothers but to survive the siege. Zubar takes care of his brother. At night he even steals water for him from one of the terrorists. Aleks shares the water with a thirsty girl. Zubar is not happy with that – he risked his life for him not for a stranger. When Aleks can’t sleep Zubar rips up his own shirt to make a toy- man for him. Zubar draws a terrorist on the wall using a piece of fallen plaster. They both start throwing rocks and debris at the image. Aleks feels that he is strong enough to fight his fear off.
      Negotiations between the terrorists and Specnaz fail. The raid on the school starts. Those parents who are armed join in. Shots are fired from all over the place. Zubar tries to get Aleks out again, but he gets wounded. Aleks is stunned at first but encouraged by his brother finds courage again to pull Zubar out of the firing zone. Unfortunately Zubar gets hit again. Aleks decides to leave the body and continues his escape alone. Injured, he manages to reach his parents. The father runs to rescue the older brother.
      Eight years later, Aleks with his mother drive up to the school to lay flowers on the day of the anniversary of Bieslan tragedy. Zubar is present too, but he’s there in a wheelchair. His brother Aleks pushes the wheelchair. They go towards the wall that commemorates the terrorist attack. The family put flowers under the picture of their father.
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