Living Under the Cloud
A sobering look at the Chernobyl disaster, with exclusive home video footage.
This inside look at the nuclear accident at Chernobyl is as disturbing a film as anyone will ever see. The effects of the 1986 disaster will be with the world for generations as radioactive particles carried across boundaries by wind and water, flora and fauna continue to contaminate the water, soil, food chain, and gene pool.
Directed by Teresa Metcalf
Produced by Teresa Metcalf and Alice Bouvrie
Dr. Vladimir Chernousenko, dying from the exposure he received as scientific director of the clean-up team, has devoted his life to telling the truth of what happened at Chernobyl. He tells of the former U.S.S.R.'s inadequate attempts to deal with the situation. Videotaped recordings provided by Dr. Chernousenko show the inhumane suicide missions that many young soldiers, miners, and medical workers were sent to perform to rid the plant of radioactive debris. All who entered the 30 kilometer 'dead zone' are either dead or dying from radiation sickness.
Reports coming out of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia indicate that the contamination of human and natural systems is worse than originally reported. Cancer, especially thyroid, is rampant; birth defects, animals dying, and radiation related illnesses are widespread as is the contamination of the food chain and environment.
The sarcophagus built to contain further radioactive contamination is crumbling. And the breakup of the U.S.S.R. has not improved the situation. The fragile economy cannot afford the expense that a massive cleanup would cost, and the emerging nations all require power to survive, power supplied by other Chernobyl-like reactors. The area surrounding Chernobyl will be uninhabitable for 25,000 years.
Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1994
Copyright Date: 1993
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-603-9
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-570-8
"The film shows for the first time the horrible details, facts and numbers which were concealed by the Soviet Government and the KGB up till now...The movie makes a deep impression on people studying the problem for the first time, and on those who held another point of view, such as those who considered the reports exaggerated or unreal."
Olga Razbash, Russian lawyer, ECOJURIS
"A chilling exposé of Soviet misinformation and outrageous indifference... An immensely sad but powerful indictment of the perils of nuclear power...highly recommended. ***1/2"
"An excellent video for individuals (advanced secondary learners through adults) interested in nuclear power issues... very well produced."
Video Rating Guide for Libraries
"Sobering grist for the environmentalists' mill."
"Powerful indictment of the perils of nuclear power...highly recommended"
***1/2 Video Librarian
Awards and Festivals
Special Jury Award, San Francisco International Film Festival
Special Recognition, NAAEE Film & Video Festival
DESIRABLE, California Instructional Technology Clearinghouse,
Cinemateket, Danish Film Institute
Amascultura Film Festival, Lisbon
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