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Have you ever heard of Slavutych?

ALMOST EVERYONE HAS heard of Chernobyl. Even if you aren’t really sure what happened there, you know something terribly wrong went down. In April of 1986, an explosion occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It and the resulting fire released radioactive material which spread around Europe and western parts of the USSR. It’s considered the worst accident at a nuclear power plant in history.

Still from video.

The nearby city of Prypiat, which was built in 1970 to house workers of the plant, wasn’t evacuated until 36 hours after the event. But where did everyone go? And what are they doing now? This is what the above video explores, the stories of some of the former residents of Prypiat and current residents of Slavutych, the city that was built out of a forest to take in the evacuees. In 16 beautiful minutes, filmmaker Maisie Crow tells a deep and ongoing story. She brings to light what has been left in the dark.

The stories are real; they are powerful. The evacuees still miss their old city of Prypiat. And they still work at the Chernobyl plant — which was operational until 2000 — disassembling it. According to calculations, it will take until 2064 to completely decommission it to a point where it is safe. Then what? What will be the future of Slavutych and its residents?

Photo + Video + Film


About The Author

Carlo Alcos

Carlo is the Dean of Education at MatadorU and a Managing Editor at Matador. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. He lives in Nelson, British Columbia.

  • Chris Hill

    The photography is quite stunning, the story is *extremely* compelling, but I’m curious to know why the choice in using title cards, instead of telling the story in a different way which does not make a viewer pause to read a title card? It always brings the viewer out of the emotional experience.   Otherwise, I quite love this documentary short.  

  • theblondegypsy

    Thank you for publishing this! Definitely very moving and very real. These people are heroes and/or decendents of heroes; still waiting for the day Ukraine actually treats them as such…

  • Ian MacKenzie

    Wow… beautifully done. 

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