A bird's-eye view of a theatre with two large back-to-back screens and an audience in bleacher style seating. There are three individually lit models of buildings and landscapes beneath the screens, and a person at a podium at one end of the screens

Zvizdal (Chernobyl – so far so close)

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

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.

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