6 user 12 critic
Behind the walls of a forbidden city, the only thing more dangerous than its secrets is the truth.


Samira Goetschel
2 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Lavrenti Beria ... Self (archive footage)
Viktor Fetisov Viktor Fetisov ... Self - (Director of Mayak Nuclear Plant) (archive footage)
Mikhail Gorbachev ... Self (archive footage)
Sergei Kirillov Sergei Kirillov ... Self - (Local Journalist)
Igor Kurchatov Igor Kurchatov ... Self (archive footage)
Nadezhda Kutepova Nadezhda Kutepova ... Self (human rights lawyer)
Gregory Kuznetsov Gregory Kuznetsov ... Self - (Journalist)
Vladimir Kuznetsov Vladimir Kuznetsov ... Self - (member of Russian Atomic Energy Corporation)
Alexander Litvinenko ... Self (archive footage)
Natalia Manzurova Natalia Manzurova ... Self (Nuclear scientist)
Vladimir Putin ... Self (archive footage)
Joseph Stalin ... Self (archive footage)
Galina Vasilievna Galina Vasilievna ... Self - (Nadezhda's Assistant)
Boris Yeltsin ... Self (archive footage)


Deep in Russia, there is an invisible city that houses thousands of men, women and children who live and work behind double barbed-wire fences monitored by armed guards. They are told that they are the creators of the nuclear shield and saviors of the world. They are told that everyone is an enemy. In this hidden world, a mother risks her life to take us inside Russia's largest nuclear city.

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Behind the walls of a forbidden city, the only thing more dangerous than its secrets is the truth.


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Did You Know?


A number of people featured are not identified for reasons of personal safety. There is a relocated man, a 'chocolate factory' worker & a woman with many dead relatives who are all interviewed anonymously in 2004 archival footage. There is also a male resident with his face blurred, a male nuclear scientist who never faces the camera and four different clients (three women and one man) who all remain anonymous. See more »


At around 43:40 into the documentary, the second lake identified as "Lake Irtyash" appears to actually be Lake Karachay (which as of 2017 has been completely filled in). The dump truck dumping shown was likely not dumping solid radioactive waste as implied, but was part of the effort to fill in and cover the lake to prevent radiation from escaping. See more »


Herself (human rights lawyer): My name is Nadezhda Kutepova and I'm a native of Ozersk. I was born here. We were told we live in a secret place. There were spies all over, sneaking around, gathering information. My mother used to warn me, 'Darling, never say where you are from or a Black Mariah will takes away and you'll never see your parents again. Let state secrets stay secret.'
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Darker Than Midnight
music by Michael A. Levine, lyrics by Michael A. Levine & Marina Verenikina
performed by Marina Verenikina
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User Reviews

13 November 2017 | by chanelsamsonSee all my reviews

Everyone should see this film. It's a reminder of how people who live in comfort will turn a blind eye to injustice until they are in a survivalist situation themselves. Extremely eye opening and full of information, history, and heart. The main character was an inspirational figure to follow. After watching, I am in awe, disgust, and also full of hope. Environmental and social justice change is not an option anymore, it's a necessity.

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Russia | USA


English | Russian

Release Date:

1 September 2016 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Сороковка See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

D.I.G. Films See more »
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