“THE Babushkas of Chernobyl”


“The Babushkas of Chernobyl”, 2015, USA, ’72

Directors: Anne Bogart, Holly Morris

Script: Holly Morris

Cinematographer: Japhet Weeks

Editors: Richard Howard, Mary Manhard


In the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4, a defiant community of women scratches out an existence on some of the most toxic land on Earth. They share this hauntingly beautiful but lethal landscape with an assortment of visitors– scientists, soldiers, and even ‘stalkers’ — young thrill-seekers who sneak in to pursue post-apocalyptic video game- inspired fantasies. Why the women chose to return after the disaster – defying the authorities and endangering their health – is a remarkable tale about the pull of home, the healing power of shaping one’s destiny, and the subjective nature of risk.


Holly Morris (director, producer) makes films that explore the lives of risk-taking, contemporary women around the globe; including, Behind Closed Chad-ors (Iran), Holy Cow (India), Mana Wahines (New Zealand) and Paradox Found (Cuba) – all broadcast on PBS, and internationally, as part of her Adventure Divas documentary series. Anne Bogart (director, producer) has filmed around the world for the PBS travel series “Globe Trekker” for 12 years. She has produced and directed programming for both French and English-based broadcasters. Bogart has written for W magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Women’s Wear Daily, and ElleDecor. She divides her time between London and Los Angeles.