Seven-year-old Andrej scavenges the nuclear wasteland of Chernobyl for discarded documents to trade on the black market. Shot entirely on location, this is a haunting rumination on the heartbreaking effects of the political on the personal. Schwenzel’s film starts off as a straightforward narrative but once Andrej enters the radiated Chernobyl, the film soon turns into a location showcase of the desolate environment. Because the setting is so unforgettable and the cinematography is captured so excellently, we never have a problem with this change. Sasha Savenkov puts forth a fascinating one-man (or in this case, one-little boy) performance that will certainly have moviegoers looking out to see where his acting career goes from here. The technical feats trump the story, which the film is light on.
Hannes Jaenicke, Roman Knizka, Sasha Savenkov, Nitin Sawhney