Saturday, November 29, 2014

Haunting, Strangely Beautiful Video Of Abandoned City Near Chernobyl

Trees grow atop a roof, and invade a building
in abandoned Pripyat, near the Chernobyl
nuclear disaster. From a drone film by Danny Cooke.  
The worst nuclear plant disaster in history happened in Chernobyl, in what is now Ukraine, almost 30 years ago, in 1986.

When the disaster happened, the nearby city of Pripyat, population about 50,000, was hastily evacuated because of the radiation. Nobody was able to return, and the city is slowly crumbling away.

A film maker and cinematographer named Danny Cooke was recently hired by the CBS show "60 Minutes" to help them produce a piece on the Chernobyl disaster.

While there, Cooke flew a camera-equipped drone over the ruined city, creating a post-apocalyptic horror show that is simultaneously beautiful.

You see how life at an amusement park, a school, and in bland Soviet-style apartment blocks just came to a halt in an instant during that April of 1986 when Chernobyl spewed all that radiation far and wide.

Nature is reclaiming Pripyat. Probably a radioactive, dangerous nature, but nature. Trees are starting to grow on roofs of the old buildings. Tree branches are poking through broken windows, growing up against the concrete buildings.

Those trees will finally swallow the remains of the city one day. In the video, Cooke also intersperses the drone view with interior scenes.
The top of an abandoned ferris wheel in abandoned Pripyat,
from the film by Danny Cooke.  

Piles of paperwork on a floor. School work left behind by children.

An abandoned swimming pool in a gymnasium, with poplar tree branches reaching through the windows and the last of paint on the walls chipping away and falling to the floor.

It's just such a spooky, contemplative video, made even more so by the sad song overlaid in the video.


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