Join the Kyiv Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International at the Gene Siskel Film Center for the Chicago premiere of the documentary The Babushkas of Chernobyl on Sunday, January 17 at 5:00 pm, followed by a post-screening reception, co-hosted by the committee. The film is also being screened at 7:45 pm on Saturday, January 16. Director Holly Morris will be present for audience discussion at both screenings.
Almost three decades following the nuclear power plant disaster in Chernobyl, a great swath of Ukraine’s heavily forested landscape remains eerily empty, frighteningly radioactive, and designated the “Dead Zone.” Into this treacherous environment, paradoxically fruitful and teeming with animal life, venture filmmakers Bogart and Morris, tracking a handful of rural grandmothers, the daring holdouts who stubbornly refused to evacuate their lifelong homes. Stoic and joyfully at peace, these elderly women continue daily life in a time warp, seeking each other’s company for the rare Easter feast punctuated by song, many shots of vodka, and tears for a time long gone and for loved ones lost. In English and Ukrainian with English subtitles. 2015; Holly Morris and Anne Bogart; USA; 71 minutes; DCP digital.