Director/ Screenwriter · Documentary Feature Film
My motivation for my project “War in Chernobyl“
An interest in the topic of Chornobyl is not new for me. I’ve often been to the Chornobyl zone and I’ve written several essays about that place. For some time now, I had no doubt that one day I will make a film there – I just had a feeling that the story of that film will reach me one day. Just several days before the Russian invasion me and my colleague Svitlana Matviyenko, who’s writing a book about Chornobyl, had been planning a research project about the history of the Chornobyl Zone as a case of what Svitlana calls ‘nuclear colonialism’. All of a sudden, this plan had been thwarted by regular Russian military colonialism.
Immediatetly after the de-occupation of Chornobyl, we’ve started to look for ways to document the history and consequences of the Russian invasion there. In April this year, I’ve joined The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies, which focuses on the collection of testimonies by the witnesses of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, with an aim of building legal cases in the International Criminal Court. After learning about the Chornobyl takeover, the international experts on criminal law who work on that project had established direct signs of nuclear terrorism in that case, and they’re planning to create a specific case in the ICC based on that story.
The story of the military takeover of the Chornobyl plant is one of the most obvious cases of the extreme incompetence of the Russian army, which is one of the reasons I find it important to highlight this story. What happened in Chornobyl in March 2022 turned out to be crucial for the Russian defeat in the Battle of Kyiv. Therefore, this film tells not just the story of grim military idiocy – it also tells the story of a tremendous military defeat of the Russian army which will hopefully soon be repeated on a larger scale.
How do you plan to use the scholarship?
I’m planning to use this scholarship to shoot as much as possible footage of the aftermath of the Russian presence of in the Chornobyl Zone, as we’ve now got access to the place thanks to the cooperation with the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management. I also plan to use this scholarship to develop a script of a feature-length documentary film.