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  • Nov 3-5

The Babushkas of Chernobyl

Win­ner of awards in 2015 at film fes­ti­vals in Los Ange­les, Wood­stock, San­ta Fe, Rot­ter­dam and in 2016 at Salem, Sun Val­ley, Den­ver, Mal­mo and Florida 

The Babushkas of Cher­nobyl (direct­ed by Hol­ly Mor­ris and Anne Bog­a­rt) is a por­trait of a defi­ant com­mu­ni­ty of women who scratch out an exis­tence on some of the most tox­ic land on earth, the radioac­tive “exclu­sion zone” sur­round­ing Chernobyl’s Reac­tor No. 4. While most of their neigh­bors have long since fled, and their hus­bands have grad­u­al­ly died off, this stub­born sis­ter­hood is cling­ing to their ances­tral home­land despite its tox­i­c­i­ty. 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.

Released in 2015
Run­ning time: 70 minutes

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