Pu-239 (2006)
"The Half Life of Timofey Berezin" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  17 November 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,685 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 12 critic

A worker at a Russian nuclear facility gets exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. In order to provide for his family, he steals some plutonium and sets out to sell it on Moscow's black market with the help of an incompetent criminal.



(screenplay), (short story "PU-239")
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2 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Valeriu Pavel Dan ...
Red Army Hero
Kenneth Bryans ...
Danya Baryshnikov ...
Facility Director
Facility Deputy
Xenia Alina Grigore ...
Lap Girl
Constantin Barbulescu ...
Oana Cojocaru ...
Stefan Iancu ...


In Russia, the technician and family man Timofey is exposed to 1,000 REMs (Roentgen Equivalent Man) of radiation in the nuclear facility where he works. The facility director hides the level of exposure from Timofey and tries to force him to assume the blame for the accident and puts Timofey on unpaid leave. Aware that the exposure is lethal and feeling the sickness of radiation, Timofey steals 100 mg of plutonium and heads to Moscow expecting to sell it on the black market for US$ 30,000.00 to give to his wife Marina and his seven year-old son Tolya. Meanwhile, the small-time criminal Shiv and the gangsters Vlad and Yegor need to pay US$ 6,000.00 to the powerful mobster Starkov in 72 hours. When Shiv meets Timofey trying to sell the Pu-239, he sees the chance to pay his debts and make some money. But he is incompetent and gets in trouble with powerful mobsters. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


His family's future depends on one unstable element.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence, sexual content and brief drug use | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 November 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

PU-239  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tusk: That is what you need to be able to see in the world now: a Baskin-Robbins of pussy. That is capitalism.
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Crazy Credits

The end credits of the movie are presented in English. The letters cast a shadow in dark red, which provide the same information as the English credits, but in Russian. See more »


Pavlic Morozov
Written by Armen S. Grigoryan
Performed by Krematoriy
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Film
24 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on a short story by Ken Kalfus, PU-239 is about a man who worked all of his adult life in a nuclear processing facility, only to find himself contaminated beyond hope of survival because the plant is literally falling apart. Faced with precious little time to look out for his family's future, a good man does a bad thing, by stealing a small quantity of weapons grade plutonium to sell on the black market. His journey takes him to Moscow,where he must deal with Russian mobsters and street thugs while trying to survive long enough to make a transaction.

The film is filled with little facts about the power and dangers of radiation, and examples of the affect that perestroika has had on Russian society. The plot takes many turns as the main characters find themselves in one ironic situation after another. While the details may be contrived (hey - it's a movie), the basic plot is very plausible and the scary thing is how much enriched plutonium is actually unaccounted for in the former USSR.

I feel sure this film will be made available on DVD someday. But if you have access to HBO, watch it now. If you like dark satire and science, this films for you.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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