Life & Culture

Video of the Week: Why Stay in Chernobyl?


Holly Morris is the director of the wonderful documentary “The Babushkas of Chernobyl,” which tells the story of a group of older women who defy the authorities in order to stay in their homes in the contaminated dead zone created by one of the worst nuclear power accident in history.

“Babushkas,” which has been showing on the festival circuit since 2015, delves into the daily lives of the women, most of them in their 70sand 80s, as they chop wood, grow their own food, fight wild animals and come together to drink their moonshine. Their resilience, as well as their defiant spirit, is inspiring. And as Morris says in this Ted Talk, the fact that the women, who were told they would die speedy deaths, are living longer than the evacuees who stayed away, will make you think about the power of autonomy and self-determination to keep us healthy and strong as we age.

Stay tuned for the theatrical release of “Babushkas” and see if there’s a screening near you; meanwhile, get the backstory in this video.


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