The Babushkas of Chernobyl

by Holly Morris & Anne Bogart

The Babushkas of Chernobyl film poster
Runtime: 71′

In the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4, a defiant community of babushkas cultivates an existence on some of the most toxic land on Earth. But Hanna, Maria and Valentyna, the film’s central characters, aren’t the only risk-takers: Scientists, bureaucrats and even young men called ‘Stalkers’ (who break in illegally to pursue their video game-inspired fantasies) explore the dystopic Zone and seek out its isolated women. Why Hanna, Maria, and Valentyna returned to their homes 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 film was followed by a Q&A with guest speakers:

  • Kathrin Glastra , Director of the European Energy Transition Programme at the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s EU office in Brussels
  • Markus Trilling, EU Policy Officer at Bankwatch, Brussels
  • Professor Pierre Scalliet, Head of the radiation oncology department of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) Saint-Luc and IAEA expert

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Learn more about the films we screen, our guest speakers and the topics at hand with our Ciné-ONU | UN Cinema backgrounder.

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