Sunday | 20.09.20

Monthly Screenings

Images of Destruction

The series Chernobyl premiered in May, featuring the hours and days after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. The success of the series and the discussion that arose were partly due to its ability to translate the visual images of the disaster, and to give the news headlines and this historical chapter a new, closer, and more intimate dimension. The tension and horror of Chernobyl stemmed from the discrepancy between apocalyptic images belonging to fiction and the knowledge that those images are reconstruction of real events.

This program ventures from these images to bring forth works dealing with similar disaster areas. These are films that document the days and years after the disaster in Fukushima, Hiroshima, before and after the bombing, or the city of Pripat, near Chernobyl. These are also hypothetical works that portray Britain in the context of a third world war or post-war Israel. The power of these images is drawn from the omission of humans out of them, and the mysterious and threatening effect these eliminations have. Deeper, more intriguing, and challenging, is Homo Sapiens - which begins in Fukushima’s forbidden region, and moves toward abandoned buildings and areas around the world as a result of social and economic catastrophes. Despite the very different reasons, the images are quite similar, and give thought to man's place in the world and the extent of his influence on nature.

Exclusive event for Cinematheque members


Created by: Craig Mazin
| 330 minutes

On April 26, 1986, reactor no. 4 at Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant exploded. Though the facts are well known, HBO’s masterful and meticulous mini-series depicts these days, weeks, and months, and offers a viewing experience that fully stimulates the senses and mind. 5 eps., intermission between eps. 3 and 4


Dir.: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
| 100 minutes

13 years after the Chernobyl disaster, director Nikolaus Geyrhalter returns to the city of Pripyat and the forbidden zone. The area has not been completely abandoned and in this mesmerizing and exceptional portrait, Geyrhalter depicts the far reaching consequences of the shattering disaster. 

When the Wind Blows

Dir.: Jimmy T. Murakami
| 84 minutes

The world is on the brink of a third world war, and Jim and Hilda are a naive elderly British couple listening to the radio. Jim follows the instructions set for a possible nuclear bombing. When war does break out, the two discover its price. 

Half Life in Fukushima

Dir.: Mark Olexa, Francesca Scalisi
| 61 minutes

Naoto Matsumura is one of the few inhabitants that stayed in Fukushima’s Red Zone. Five years after the disaster, he continues to take care of his farm, obey the traffic signs of the empty roads, and watch as the government tries to decontaminate the region.

No Man’s Zone

Dir.: Toshi Fujiwara
| 105 minutes

In the days following the Fukushima disaster, Toshi Fujiwara traveled through the forbidden areas and documented the abandoned and battered areas. The human and physical landscapes cultivate into a personal journey to capture the apocalyptic atmosphere moments after the disaster. 

Homo Sapiens

Dir.: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
| 94 minutes

Nikolaus Geyrhalter travels to abandoned sites around the world: from Fukushima’s forbidden zone, through deserted buildings to present how nature defeats mankind. With a series of stylized static shots and with no human presence, the result is an art work that stimulates the senses.

In This Corner of the World

Dir.: Sunao Katabuchi
| 129 minutes

Suzu moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima. When a ball of fire explodes over Hiroshima in 1945, her perseverance and courage is put to the test. A beautiful and poignant animated portrait of a place and its people days of human calamity. 

Saint Clara

Dir.: Uri Sivan, Ari Folman
| 84 minutes

Clara Chanov, a 13-year-old Russian immigrant, is from a family with amazing supernatural powers which only become apparent the first time they fall in love.