The Babushkas of Chernobyl

Please Note: This film is no longer showing at Railroad Square Cinema

Part of Cinema Explorations 2017


In the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4, a defiant community of women scratches out an existence on some of the most toxic land on Earth. They share this hauntingly beautiful but lethal landscape with an assortment of interlopers—scientists, soldiers, and even ‘stalkers’—young thrill-seekers who sneak in to pursue post-apocalyptic video game-inspired fantasies. Why the film’s central characters, Hanna Zavorotyna, Maria Shovkuta, and Valentyna Ivanivna, chose to return after the disaster, defying the authorities and endangering their health, is a remarkable tale about the pull of home, the healing power of shaping one’s destiny and the subjective nature of risk. THE BABUSHKAS OF CHERNOBYL has won 11 prizes during its festival appearances – including 4 Audience Awards. George Johnson of the New York Times states, “A beautiful film…Captures the subtleties and uncertainties of Chernobyl and, moreover, the resilience of the human soul.” The Chicago Tribune calls it “a haunting and provocative movie, powerful and poignant and, frankly, unforgettable.” Unrated. 70 minutes.

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