Pripyat - 1999 Documentary Film
I finally wrote my review of the 1999 Nicklaus Geyrhalter documentary film Pripyat. I had forgotten that this movie is fairly depressing. Then again, is there anything about Chernobyl that is not at least a little depressing?
I think what struck me most about this film is all the silence in the background. There is no soundtrack - if people are not talking, there is only silence (except for several vehicles and occasional birds chirping). It reminded me very much of my own experiences in the Zone. I still vividly remember a year ago standing in Pripyat's main square in front of the Palace of Culture and hearing absolutely nothing. Think about that - I was standing in the middle of a city that used to be home to almost 50,000 people and heard absolutely nothing!
My only complaint about the film is that it was shot in black & white. The B & W treatment makes the area look like a wasteland. I understand that Geyrhalter did this for effect (and it definitely worked), but the area is not a wasteland. The Zone contains a lot of life, but plant and animal. The only reason the area could be considered a wasteland is because over 100,000 people used to live there, and now they can't.
This film is a must see. If it is not playing locally, I think you can buy it online. If not, you can purchase it directly from the film company (warning: it is only available in PAL format). Just send them an email and they will provide you with purchase information.