From Chechnya to Chernobyl
Fleeing the war in Chechnya, refugees have settled near Chernobyl.
In recent years, hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled wars and political turmoil in Chechnya, Tajikistan, Georgia and Azerbaijan in order to find peace in the radioactive pastures surrounding Chernobyl, scene of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986.
Directed by Slawomir Grünberg
Produced by Log In Productions
"I prefer living with radiation over living in a war zone," says one former resident of Chechnya.
The tiny, little-known country of Belarus has suffered more than any other in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. Winds scattered the heaviest radioactive deposits across the country, where after a decade 25% of the land is still judged uninhabitable. Thousands of villages and towns were abandoned or evacuated, and their populations resettled to safer areas.
When Russian-speaking filmmaker Slawomir Grünberg heard that local governments were encouraging people to resettle the irradiated villages, he decided to go there with his camera. His film documents the latest twist in the Chernobyl disaster and the evolution of the former Soviet republics.
In the village of Raduga he met the Tsiplaevs, an ethnic Russian family from Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. Like many, they've chosen to risk their health, and the health of their children's children, in exchange for a life without the constant fears of living in a war zone.
Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1998
Copyright Date: 1997
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-825-2
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-751-4
"A unique film that covers a topic of which most of us are unaware. This intriguing documentary is recommended for an undergraduate college curriculum that would cover modern European history or current events."
Kathleen Loomis, Electronic Resources Librarian, SUNY-Fredonia MC Journal
"This is a beautiful piece that deeply moved several of us. Your entry is a touching portrayal of the plight of people torn by war and a grim reminder that the specter of Chernobyl is still with us - captivating, artistic, and well-written."
Katherine Knight, EarthVision Coordinator
"Grunberg does a skillful job of portraying the bleak choices that the people of the former Soviet Union face. This video is a good supplement for classes on environmental politics, post-Soviet studies, and international relations."
Amit Gupta, Asst. Prof., Political Science, Stonehill College
"Provides a unique perspective on both the post-Soviet conflicts and the problems of refugees."
Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution
"Provides a unique perspective on both the post-Soviet conflicts and the problems of refugees." Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution
Awards and Festivals
Grand Prize, Ekofilm, Cesky Krumlov
CINE Golden Eagle
Silver Apple, National Educational Media Network Competition
Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Coup de Coeur Award, Grenoble Environmental Film Festival
Prize of Independent Economic Forum, EKOTOPFILM, Slovakia
Finalist, New York Exposition of Short Film and Video
Honorable Mention, EarthVision Environmental Film & Video Competition
Ecofilm (Les cahiers du future), Paris
United Nations Association Film Festival
Rochester International Film Festival
Planet in Focus, Toronto Environmental Film & Video Festival
Migration and Refugees
War and Peace
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