This Academy Award-winning documentary takes a look at children born after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster who have been born with a deteriorated heart condition.

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An affectionate portrait of a group of women who, after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and evacuation, returned to the exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear power plant and have resided there - semi-officially, for years.

Directors: Anne Bogart, Holly Morris
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William Novick ...
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Adi Roche ...
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This Academy Award-winning documentary takes a look at children born after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster who have been born with a deteriorated heart condition.

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Documentary | Short

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13 August 2011 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Csernobil-szívbaj  »

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Connections

Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No 3, Opus 36
Lento e Largo - Tranquillisimo
Composed by Henryk Górecki
Performed by London Sinfonietta
Conducted by David Zinman
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
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User Reviews

Yes, Heartbreaking
1 April 2005 | by (Montreal, Quebec) – See all my reviews

It says a lot for the ignorance of mainstream film culture that this Academy Award Winning Doc Short has generated only three user comments on IMDb and zero external comments. Has anybody seen this film?

It is also bothersome in a way that the film is in HBO distribution because of the context of exploitative fare HBO deals in---all the sex documentaries Sheila Nevins puts out. And then this, sandwiched in-between.

The imagery is beyond exploitative; it so far over the line and yet obviously true. You could find these birth defects almost everywhere in the world but only in isolation. Here, they are in terrible concentration and the kids are suffering in terrible conditions in terrible state hospitals, mental wards and orphanages. All you Ronald Reagan boosting Americans who think 'freedom' won the day, 'won' the Cold War, look at what you have reduced Russia and its sister states to, just look at this and think what massive Lies you grew up under in the 1970's and 1980's and what they have brought about and become.

The next Chernobyl might be caused by internal terrorism in the US, but it will likely be, as the film says, Chernobyl itself. 97% of the radiation is still concentrated there, says the film.

If I seem angry it is from watching the film, the fallout, pardon the ugly metaphor, from the film. Why this is not a full-length film I do not understand. Why are their no officials interviewed, why is there no government response and responsibility? Why is no one from the UN interviewed? Why is the scope so small? Because the film telescopes to discuss the living conditions and medical defects only, it is 40 minutes of nothing but suffering and the small attempts to curtail it, to fix one problem, the 'Chernobyl Heart' defect that seems so tiny a victory in its symbolism.

It is one of the hardest and most necessary pieces of film I've ever watched. But the content is far too important to be compressed into such a painful frame, so stripped of context.

Think of how much the world could change if all the major TV networks in the world agreed to show this in prime time, simultaneously, without commercials.

When I was growing up in the hippiefied 70's, all the grade seven kids in my school were made to watch "Do You Love This Planet?". (Somehow, I don't think it was on the curriculum.) The most lasting, and sensible, propaganda experiment of my childhood. It stuck. There is no reason for this film not be similarly shown.


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