Zvizdal at Brighton Festival
Past Event
Visual Arts


Fri 12 Feb 2016

Zvizdal tells the life of Pétro and Nadia. After the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, they were the only ones of their village to refuse evacuation from the forbidden zone. During 29 years, they led an isolated existence without electricity, running water or communication with the outside world. For five years Berlin could follow them.

'The more time you spend with them, the more you realise that their story is also about us. Loneliness, isolation,... were important themes. At the same time this is also a story about living from the land, living with a cow, a horse, a cat, a dog and some chickens.'

Bart Baele and Yves Degryse about Zvizdal, in an interview with Karlien Meganck. Read the full interview (in Dutch)

Berlin, the company behind Bonanza, Perhaps All the Dragons (2014) and Land’s End (2012), returns to Brighton Festival with a filmic portrait of one elderly couple’s self-imposed solitude. Featuring interviews with Pétro and Nadia filmed between 2011 and 2016, Zvizdal tells a poignant story of survival, hope and love in a ghost town.

'The moment you enter the forbidden zone, you are entering a microcosm of human experience. It is a very extreme situation, but there are layers that you recognise, and as you spend time there the layers become more visible.'

Find out more about Zvizdal in this Festival Hot Seat interview with Yves Degryse, Berlin's Artistic Director.