Alexei and the Spring (2002)

Genres - Culture & Society, History  |   Sub-Genres - Sociology, Biography, Tragedies & Catastrophes  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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In 1998 documentary filmmaker Seiichi Motohashi directed Nadja's Village, a chilling tale about a young woman living in an area of Belarus that was rendered uninhabitable in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. This time around, Motohashi returns to the same region to follow the lives of a 34-year-old handicapped man named Alexei -- who narrates the film -- and parents living in the similarly afflicted village of Budische. Alexei recalls that faithful day on April 26, the day that the wind blew and the sky turned orange. Afterwards, everything was different. Miraculously, the village's spring was not contaminated, giving the village's 50-some odd remaining residents pure water to drink and bath in. The film details the grind of daily life for these villagers, showing how they live on a slim government pension which the women use to buy food and household items and the men use to buy vodka. The film ends with the mid-August Apple Festival, which owing to the advanced ages of many of the villagers, will probably be the last time this festival is celebrated.



aftermath, Belarus, community, cultural-traditions, elderly, nuclear-accident, self-sufficiency, village