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Heavy Water: A Film For Chernobyl

DIR: David Bickerstaff, Phil Grabsky
2007 / Ukraine, United Kingdom / 52 min

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To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster (26th April 2006), Seventh Art Productions presents HEAVY WATER: A FILM FOR CHERNOBYL.


Using works from Mario Petrucci’s award-winning book-length poem for Chernobyl, Heavy Water, the film tells the story of the explosion and its catastrophic aftermath.


Petrucci’s poetry forms the backbone of the film’s narrative. The poems — absolutely unflinching and painfully precise, yet compassionate — are cut together with revealing archive and evocative location footage of the ghost-town of Pripyat and the surrounding exclusion zone. The poems are read by actors Juliet Stevenson, David Threlfall and Samuel West.


The film has been over a year in the making. Directors Phil Grabsky and David Bickerstaff travelled to Ukraine and into the exclusion zone to film the deserted town of Pripyat and the interior of the destroyed reactor, and to meet some of the ‘settlers’ who have rebuilt their lives inside the radioactive area, despite official advice. They then worked closely with Petrucci to cut the words and images together. It was a new experience for all of them. The result is an intensely moving film, which, rather than relating the technical details of the world’s biggest ever industrial accident, emphasises the effect of the disaster on the people of Chernobyl.


Director David Bickerstaff, Phil Grabsky
Dir. of Photography Phil Grabsky
Editing David Bickerstaff
Music David Bickerstaff, Dimitri Tchamouroff
Sound Phil Grabsky
Duration 52 min
Year 2007
Country Ukraine, United Kingdom
Tags collage, energy resources, poetic, social issues, Ukraine
Production Seventh Art Productions
Seventh Art Productions
Address:  63 Ship Street
City:  BN1 1AE Brighton
Country:  United Kingdom
Web:  www.seventh-art.co.uk/
Phone:  +44 (0)1273 777678



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