What if we decide after the apocalypse that it’s not all over? For their theatrical video documentary, over five years the Berlin group followed the couple who never left their village near Chernobyl.
Ukrainian language with German subtitles
Nadia and Pétro Opanassovitch Lubenoc lived in the Ukrainian village of Zvizdal for more than eighty years. Even the nuclear disaster in the nearby power plant couldn’t change that. Their village was declared uninhabitable and evacuated. While all of their neighbours left the village, Nadia and Pétro stayed. “If you are born somewhere you should continue to live in your natural environment”, says Pétro. “If I were to move to another area, I would die.”
For thirty years, the two lived in self-elected solitude. With no running water, electricity or telephone. Amidst looted houses and surrounded by nature that is reconquering the once inhabited terrain unhindered by the invisible, but omnipresent radioactive radiation. A situation between standstill and decay.
Over a period of five years, the artist group Berlin visited and filmed the couple several times a year together with the journalist Cathy Blisson. In the performances, the documentary footage is edited in with live images from a miniature model of Pétro and Nadia’s little biotope through the changing seasons. A project about loneliness, survival, hope, love, and the stubbornness of two people who acted against all prescribed reason – and about art, that accompanied these people, equally irrationally and bravely, with great staying power.
With Nadia & Pétro Opanassovitch Lubenoc
Concept Bart Baele, Yves Degryse, Cathy Blisson
Scenography Manu Siebens, Ina Peeters, Berlin
Interviews Yves Degryse, Cathy Blisson
Camera and editing Bart Baele, Geert De Vleesschauwer
Sound recordings Toon Meuris, Bas de Caluwé, Manu Siebens, Karel Verstreken
Interpreter Olga Mitronina
Soundtrack and mixing Peter Van Laerhoven
Construction set Manu Siebens, Klaartje Vermeulen, Dirk Stevens, Kasper Siebens, Kopspel, Rex Tee [intern]
Mechanics Joris Festjens, Dirk Lauwers
Scale model Ina Peeters with the help of Puck Vonk, Rosa Fens en Thomas Dreezen
Graphics Jelle Verryckt
Website Stijn Bonjean
Communication/production Laura Fierens
Business management Kurt Lannoye
Administrative support Jane Seynaeve
Co-produced by Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Pact Zollverein, Dublin Theatre Festival, le CENTQUATRE, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brighton Festival, BIT Teatergarasjen-House on Fire, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Theaterfestival Boulevard, Onassis Cultural Centre
In cooperation with deSingel
With the support of Flemish Government
Thanks to Wim Bervoets, Brice Maire, Lux Lumen, Els De Bodt, Pascal Rueff, Morgan Touzé, Christophe Ruetsch, Isabelle Grynberg, Nadine Malfait, Natalie Schrauwen, Katleen Treier, Piet Menu, Anthe & Ama Oda Baele, Remi & Ilias Degryse
Co-presented by NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union
Together with light designer and film-maker Bart Baele the actors Yves Degryse and Caroline Rochlitz founded the multimedia collective Berlin in 2003. The same year, the company based in Antwerp, Belgium, began work on their “Holocene” series: choosing a city as the starting point of each performance, they go on to span a documentary network that combines elements of film, theatre and visual arts. “Jerusalem”, the first instalment of “Holocene” premièred in 2004; five more followed over the years – including “Zvizdal”, that is set to première in Austria at steirischer herbst.