Members of the Antwerp-based art collective BERLIN, together with journalist Cathy Blisson, spent five years filming Nadia and Pétro Opanassovitch Lubenoc, an elderly couple living deep within the irradiated Chernobyl exclusion zone in a place called Zvizdal. Alone, isolated—the nearest shop is 20 kilometres away—and convinced that they have grown immune to the radiation, the couple refuses to leave, despite the entreaties of officials, friends and family…
This deeply affecting documentary-installation inserts live shots of three miniature models of Nadia and Pétro’s homestead, while examining the couple’s lives in detail. The intimacy here is astonishing and very moving; it is clear that the artists and the couple formed a deep bond during their time together. What emerges in the work is a portrait of loneliness, survival, poverty, hope and unconditional love.
Slowly and sensitively, a remarkable portrait is created, offering no simple answers to the questions that arise, even the central one of why Pétro and Nadia chose to stay. ‘This is how it is,’ they say, and in that moment it seems that theirs is not a choice after all, but a necessity. —Irish Times
Catch the PuSh FILM SERIES screening of Pripyat on January 27 at 3PM.
WITH Nadia & Pétro Opanassovitch Lubenoc CONCEPT BY Bart Baele, Yves Degryse, Cathy Blisson SCENOGRAPHY Manu Siebens, Ina Peeters BERLIN INTERVIEWERS Yves Degryse, Cathy Blisson CAMERA, EDITING Bart Baele, Geert De Vleesschauwer SOUND RECORDERS Toon Meuris, Bas de Caluwé, Manu Siebens, Karel Verstreken INTERPRETER Olga Mitronina SOUNDTRACK, MIXING Peter Van Laerhoven SET CONSTRUCTION Manu Siebens, Klaartje Vermeulen, Dirk Stevens, Kasper Siebens, Kopspel, Rex Tee [stagiair] MECHANICS Joris Festjens, Dirk Lauwers SCALE MODEL Ina Peeters, with the help of Puck Vonk, Rosa Fens en Thomas Dreezen GRAPHICS Jelle Verryckt WEBSITE Stijn Bonjean COMMUNICATION, PRODUCTION Laura Fierens BUSINESS MANAGER Kurt Lannoye ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT Jane Seynaeve CO-PRODUCERS Het Zuidelijk Toneel, PACT Zollverein, Dublin Theatre Festival, le CENTQUATRE, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brighton Festival, BIT Teatergarasjen-House on Fire, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, Theaterfestival Boulevard, Onassis Cultural Centre, BERLIN is associated artist to le CENTQUATRE IN COLLABORATION WITH deSingel SUPPORTED BY Flemish Government THANKS TO Wim Bervoets, Brice Maire, Lux Lumen, Els De Bodt, Pascal Rueff, Morgan Touzé, Christophe Ruetsch, Isabelle Grynberg, Nadine Malfait, Natalie Schrauwen, Katleen Treier, Piet Menu, Anthe & Ama Oda Baele, Remi & Ilias Degryse