Unique screening event Merilyn Fairskye documentary masterpiece PRECARIOUS Sunday 7 December 7.30 pm
ONE NIGHT ONLY SPECIAL SCREENING MERILYN FAIRSKYE DOCUMENTARY MASTERPIECE
SUNDAY 7 DECEMBER 7.30 pm
Please Note the screening is not at the Drill Hall Gallery but
Australian Centre on China in the World Theatre
Building 188 Fellows Lane ANU Campus
ACTON, Canberra ACT
Merilyn Fairskye 2011
Single-channel video, stereo sound Duration: 66:00.
Twenty-five years ago Reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded. In the aftermath, people and radiation were dispersed across the Soviet Union. Over 600,000 “liquidators” participated in the clean-up. 8,000 people still work there to contain the contamination.
Precarious is a road movie. The journey starts 1,000 kilometres away in Crimea, in inverse direction to the flow of contaminated water from Chernobyl, via the Pripyat and Dnieper Rivers to the Black Sea. It takes us right into the heart of Chernobyl: to Reactor No. 4. Our companions are an unseen group of people who have experienced Chernobyl at first hand.
The nearer we get, we pass through a bleak, snowy landscape littered with deserted villages, now overtaken by trees as nature reasserts itself. Further on houses lie buried, ghostly, under a layer of toxic clay. The power plant sits in a vast, iced-over lake, its structures terminally damaged. The abandoned city of Pripyat, blanketed by thick snow and heavy silence, is what remains after the end of the world.
Paradoxically, for locals ice and snow provide protection against radiation, as they trap radioactive materials that linger on. With the spring, flooding will occur, and once again contaminated water will run from the Pripyat River into the Black Sea.
Avoiding the conventions of a standard documentary approach, Precarious is a haunting evocation of people’s capacity to endure in the face of a technological catastrophe and betrayal by state secrecy on a grand scale.
Conception, camera, editing: MERILYN FAIRSKYE
Sound design and mixing: ROBERT HINDLEY
Online editor and grading: GREG FERRIS
Production manager Ukraine: OGNIAN PISHEV
Translations: OGNIAN PISHEV, PETER KIRIEVSKY, GEORGE BURCHETT
Igor Kostin’s words reproduced from: Christine Daum, Igor Kostin “the vodka was supposed to cleanse our thyroid glands” Osteuropa 4/2006
Tatiana Micieva is a composite of several different residents of the Chernobyl region.
Kiev Reservoir image: Jacques Descloites, MODIS Land rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Cooling pond imagae” NASA EO-1 Team. Instrument: EO-1 1 ALI
in conjunction with the DRILL HALL GALLERY EXHIBITION 14 NOVEMBER -14 DECEMBER 2014