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Pu-239 (2006)

The Half Life of Timofey Berezin (original title)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Scott Z. Burns

Writers:

Scott Z. Burns (screenplay), Ken Kalfus (short story "PU-239")
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paddy Considine ... Timofey
Oscar Isaac ... Shiv
Valeriu Pavel Dan Valeriu Pavel Dan ... Red Army Hero
Kenneth Bryans Kenneth Bryans ... Prusokov
Radha Mitchell ... Marina
Danya Baryshnikov Danya Baryshnikov ... Tolya
Connor McIntyre ... Facility Director
Derek Hutchinson ... Facility Deputy
Jason Flemyng ... Vlad
Jordan Long ... Yegor
Xenia Alina Grigore Xenia Alina Grigore ... Lap Girl
Mélanie Thierry ... Oxsana
Constantin Barbulescu Constantin Barbulescu ... Dmitri
Oana Cojocaru Oana Cojocaru ... Svetlana
Stefan Iancu ... Andrei
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

His family's future depends on one unstable element.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

PU-239 See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Shiv: I need to see the shit.
Timofey: You don't understand.
Shiv: Fuck you! Let me see it! I want to see it!
Timofey: Are you aware of the radiological effects on living organisms? Protons cut through your DNA rewriting your genetic code. The instructions for teeth become the recipe for cancer. Your marrow dies inside your bones taking with it your immune system. The next coughing person will become an infection, the smoke from your cigarette becomes lethal as a bullet. A thousandth of a gram can change a life.
Shiv: Okay, I'll ...
[...]
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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 »

Soundtracks

Gruppa-krovi
Written by Viktor Tsoy
Performed by Kino
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User Reviews

 
Great Film
24 November 2007 | by sbthomas-2See 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.


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