Drone's Eye View Offers Eerie Glimpse of Nuclear Desolation in Chernobyl's Shadow
Filmmaker Danny Cooke filmed city of Pripyat, once home to 50,000 people before nuclear disaster in 1986
A short documentary offering an aerial view of a city that once thrived in the shadow of the former Soviet Union's most notorious nuclear power plant offers a devastating critique of atomic power without uttering a single word.
Employing a remote-controlled drone over and amid the abandoned Ukrainian city of Pripyat, filmmaker Danny Cooke explores the contours of rusted-out amusement park rides and empty buildings left to crumble in the wake of the meltdown at the Chernobyl plant on April 26, 1986. Cooke shot the footage recently while on assignment for CBS News.
As the Guardian reports on Cooke's project:
The Devon-based film-maker also sent the drone into a crumbling indoor swimming pool and over factories and apartment buildings where the only sign of life is the weeds growing on the roof.
“Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I’ve been,” Cooke said. “There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.”
It is not until the drone is sent rising above the treetops that viewers can see the vast dome being built to place over the damaged reactor.