Pripyat | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, Soviet authorities cordoned off a contaminated area 30 kilometers wide, a region now called "the Zone." Austrian filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter interviewed a cross section of the several thousand people who've returned to the evacuated town of Pripyat, and their surprisingly candid, sometimes morbid observations reveal the psychological scars left by the ecological devastation as well as a poignant sense of hope and resilience. Shot in black and white, this 1999 documentary is compassionate in tone yet never explicitly judgmental; Geyrhalter lets his subjects react to their environment as they visit abandoned homes or trek through a jungle of wild brush, fully aware that they risk being contaminated but too much in love with their homeland to care. Film Center, Sunday, February 20, 4:30.

--Ted Shen

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 30 1
Performing Arts
March 21

Popular Stories