Filmmaker shows the sinister and, sometimes, bizarre reality of life under dictators

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I thoroughly recommend the TV series “Dictatorland”, which is going out on BBC Three at the moment. You can watch the episodes as they are published on BBC iPlayer. Young journalist and filmmaker Benjamin Zand travelled, at some risk to him and his crew, to a number of countries which still have dictatorships.

So far, his trips to Belarus, Tajikstan and Kazahkstan have been broadcast.

Zand acts as our guide in a very appealing and informative way. The programmes are truly fascinating. He describes the dictator and the country’s political regime, and meets people who have tried to oppose it. Those he meets have often been put in jail for long periods. You have to admire their courage in talking to the BBC.

Judging from the programmes opening graphics, we still have Syria, North Korea and Zimbabwe to look forward to in the series.

The photo above shows Belarus leader, Alexander Lukashenko, playing ice hockey. The programme reveals his penchant of playing ice hockey with top teams.

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