Hi Film Presents

Our Special Birth Day

Directed by Adrian Pîrvu

About the film

The children of Chernobyl have grown up and are now becoming parents themselves. They are the first generation born in the shadow of a nuclear disaster and this will be a sincere story about how they have grown up and what their hopes for the future are, in a post-soviet Eastern Europe.

This film will be about the people who don`t remember those days but whose lives would have been different had the world never heard about Chernobyl. It will represent the collective voice of this generation as seen through the eye of one of its members, a half blind filmmaker in search of the stories sparked by a nuclear explosion.

Background

On the 25th of April, 1986, a 28 year old woman crossed the border between Romania and the U.S.S.R. together with a group of tourists. She was 6 months pregnant. The following day, an explosion occurred on the 4th reactor of Europe`s largest nuclear power plant spewing a cloud of radioactive materials that spread quickly throughout the region. The young woman continued her journey through Ukraine and northern Romania for another 2 weeks.

They ate the local food, drank the water and participated in the May Day parades without any inkling that somewhere close to the border with Belarus, thousands of emergency workers were fighting to contain the most catastrophic nuclear accident that humanity had ever faced.

The mother to be, first found out that a place called Chernobyl ever existed, upon returning to her home town at the middle of May, when she got 2 iodine tablets and a vague story about a small nuclear accident close to where she had been. In late July, I was born with all fingers and all toes, a little overweight, but completely blind. I have partial vision in one eye now, thanks to a very dedicated doctor, a cornea from the morgue and 28 year old country girl with the strength of a lioness, my mother.

This year, I will celebrate my 30th birthday, 30 years after the accident at the Chernobyl power plant and for the past few months, I have been travelling to Ukraine with the purpose of making a documentary about the generation born around 1986 that grew up in the shadow of a nuclear disaster.

The accident itself caused relatively few victims but has left behind a diaspora of millions of people who were physically or psychologically affected. Together with some of these children of 1986, who are preparing to become parents themselves, I will attempt to find out how different people have adapted to a situation they had no control over and to see how these people live in the Eastern Europe of today, saddled with a 30 year legacy of tumultuous events.

3 decades represent just flicker in the timeline of radioactive decay. The exclusion zone around the disaster site, will not be habitable for 30, 300 or 3.000 years, an open wound that Ukraine and Belarus or the political entities that might follow them will have in spite of how many attempts will be made to downplay it. A wound that can open again and touch most of Europe, if not taken care of. The protagonists of this film are just the first generation that was born into a reality that a thousand generations to follow it will have to manage.