On the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Christiaan Welzel and his wife, Kseniya, entered the Exclusion Zone. Christiaan’s cinematic footage captures the eerie beauty of the desolation and decay.
Footage shot in April 2013 by Christiaan Welzel, a Dissolve Exclusive contributor
See and license the clips used at bit.ly/beautifulghostreel
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit Chernobyl whilst working for CBS News on a '60 Minutes' episode which aired on Nov. 23, 2014. Bob Simon is the correspondent. Michael Gavshon and David Levine, producers.
Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I've been. The nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 (the year after I was born), had an effect on so many people, including my family when we lived in Italy. The nuclear dust clouds swept westward towards us. The Italian police went round and threw away all the local produce and my mother rushed out to purchase as much tinned milk as possible to feed me, her infant son.
It caused so much distress hundreds of miles away, so I can't imagine how terrifying it would have been for the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens who were forced to evacuate.
During my stay, I met so many amazing people, one of whom was my guide Yevgen, also known as a 'Stalker'. We spent the week together exploring Chernobyl and the nearby abandoned city of Pripyat. There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.
Armed with a camera and a dosimeter geiger counter I explored...
In a gritty mining town in New Mexico, Mexican-American workers go on strike to protest their dangerous working conditions and low wages. They meet with fierce opposition from company thugs and local sheriff's deputies. After vicious beatings and the suffering of the miners' families, the wives and mothers of the striking workers take over the picket line in a final demand for justice.
Stylistically mirroring Italian neo-realism, Salt of the Earth was produced, directed and written by victims of the 1950's anti-Communist blacklisting, including Herbert Biberman - one of the "Hollywood Ten" who was jailed for refusing to cooperate with Congressional inquiries. With the notable exception of Will Geer (Grandpa on "The Waltons"), the cast is almost entirely comprised of workers who participated in the real-life strike on which the story is based. The only blacklisted American film in history, Salt of the Earth was banned for its daring political content, which anticipated the civil rights and feminist movements by nearly ten years. This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library Of Congress, in 1992.
3-minute trailer for the movie "Florida Crackers, The Cattlemen & Cowboys of Florida", an independently produced 90-minute documentary about a little-known culture, that evokes a connection back to nature and core human values.