Viewers Respond to Stalking Chernobyl

Photo courtesy of Vlad Vozniuk/URBEX


We have been honored to receive feedback and comments from audience members who have viewed Stalking Chernobyl. If you have watched the film, we invite you to send us your thoughts and keep the discussion going! We can be reached by email at

Peter H., Italy — I found the film fascinating! A real cutting-edge insight, including into an otherwise rather closed off world (the stalker subculture). I know a Chernobyl stalker and blogger myself and I've sent him the link. I'm intrigued what he'll have to say about the film.

Ed D. — Nao vou comentar o fato em sì, que conheço mais ou menos como a media das pessoas bem informadas su Chernobyl. Mas confesso que o "stalker" me incomoda: ainda nao sei dizer se è louco ou nao. Do filme, antes de mais nada valeu o subtitulo em italiano. Caipirinha productions è otimo. O film è inquietante, e dà uma estranha sensaçao entre ver imagens fantasticas que estimulam o bem estar da beleza, em contraste com a cogniçao racional do que significam. Achei interessante o jogo continuo entre esses dois polos: o racional (que te faz fugir) e o emocional (que te faz buscar). Outra coisa interessante è que vc nao aparece nunca. Muitos filmmakers gostam desse protagonismo, filmar a si mesmos enquanto contam o fato. E a dedica final. Gostei, gostei muito. Mas tou incomodado com isso. Sinal que è bom, nè?

Erkhembayar B., Mongolia — Чернобилийн атомын цахилгаан станцын аймшигт осол үр дагаврын талаар найз продюссер инворонменталист хатагтай Иара Лийгийн бүтээлийг санал болгож байна. өнгөрсөн жил түүний Пакистаны К2 уулын талаар Invisable Footman баримтат киноны монгол орчуулга дээр хамтран ажилласан. Корона гайгүй болвол тэрхүү киноны нээлтийг удахгүй Монголд хийх сайхан цаг ирэх байхаа гэж найдна.

Anonymous, Bulgaria — A fantastic film following life in the Chernobyl region after the big bang just came out recently. Why see it if you already know the story? Because it doesn’t focus on the terror but instead on the reality that comes after. Tragic events often have interesting and unexpected consequences and the movie explores one aspect of the story: a substantial underground culture that has been growing around the exclusion zone. In other words, humans are weird and that’s what makes it all interesting. Here’s a nice example!

Michel M., France — J'ai regardé le film aujourd'hui et bien apprécié. Il y a des images impressionnantes et l'attention est soutenue de bout en bout par le montage et l'excellent travail d'archivage. J'aime particulièrement qu'il n'y ait pas de commentaires en voix off mais uniquement des témoignages. Sincèrement bravo !

Mónica P., Canary Islands — Muchas gracias a ti Iara. Gran trabajo. Te deseo mucha salud y fuerza para seguir en la lucha por construir un mundo mejor desde el sentimiento de unidad.

José O., Portugal — Já partilhei e gostei muito do filme que dá uma visão actual do aproveitamento turístico mas também alerta para o perigo das centrais nucleares .... e esta é a mensagem importante. Parabéns Iara e continua o teu bom trabalho.

Rami, Egypt — Very nice film, Iara! It shows how nuclear energy can be a disaster even if we use it for generating electricity or other peaceful purposes. We need to raise the consciousness of the people who elect politicians and let them know the nuclear risks. If the people in Pripyat had known what was going to happen in their city, they wouldn't have agreed to install the power plant, even if it produces 10 percent of Ukraine's electricity—but you know politicians always have a good reason and say it will be done with high security standards and that there's an urgent need to produces electricity. In Egypt, we will have the first nuclear power plant in 2026 and I totally disagree with it and hope that the project to not be completed. Thank you for this beautiful film and keep producing this kind of documentary!

Christian B., Germany — I loved learning about the region and the history and the actual developments. The surprising scene of "stalkers," about whom I had never heard before, is astonishing, especially for a studied tourism expert like me. I learned a lot. The photography and imagery is very enjoyable and the whole film made me want to learn more about Chernobyl, watch more of your documentaries, and travel again on my own.

Slaven K., Croatia — I just watched your film. I knew it was a very sensitive matter, but it brought a tear to my eye by the end. From one point of view, I am aware (from-the-distance aware) of the disaster Chernobyl is, and the film perfectly depicts the story of humans on this planet as a pest. From another point of view, it also shows the endless courage and sacrifice for others. I have very mixed feelings about going to the Exclusion Zone and having anyone there. I believe people should back off as far as possible from it. Then again, I see all these kids who roam there, searching for their inner self, trying to be daredevils, and I cannot blame them. I am deeply disappointed in humankind, but I also have mixed feelings there. For the film, kudos for doing an amazing job and collecting so much material, so many witnesses, and so much footage. You really do shed new light on that horrific episode. This is amazing work and I believe it needs to be shared with those who are willing to give some attention and focus to it, instead of being fed the mainstream bullshit that turns people into ideal clay for governments to form into whatever they want them to be.

Kalman Z., Croatia — Thank you, Iara. The film was quite new for us. Unbelievable that such things exist. However, it is just an introduction to the forthcoming final apocalypse.

Juliana, United States — I found it interesting that one of the statements in the film was, "You can't see or smell radiation." It sounds similar in many ways to what we are currently experiencing with COVID-19. People don't have it so they think it's a hoax—much like the stalkers...

Don, United States — Given the HBO series on Chernobyl, which was horrifying for me at least, I still cannot get my mind around how the "stalkers" think. The historical footage in STALKING CHERNOBYL really lends a sense of pathos to the film seeing what was lost, and the montage of accidents you put at the end of the film was really compelling.

Forrest L., United States — In November, 2015, I and ten other people spent two days in the Exclusion Zone with an environmentalist. I saw your film and found it consistent with our experience. We never exceeded the maximum safe radiation levels set by UC Davis. We all felt safe.

Melissa S., Brazil — Só vim passar pra avisar que assisti o seu filme Stalking Chernobyl e achei sensacional!! Uma perspectiva que eu nunca nem poderia imaginar! Você tem um mega olhar cinematográfico. Te indico pra todas minhas amigas que querem fazer cinema (principalmente para as amarelas asiáticas). Você é incrível, parabéns pelo mega trabalho.

Beatrice C., Italy — I watched the documentary. It's really powerful and, to be honest, really very difficult to watch. I remember that time, that April 26, and it was a real nightmare, even if I was was still very young. In Italy, we were not allowed to eat anything coming from open gardens, for example. You could feel the dread all around—a very dramatic time. What a powerful movie! Very good, very accurate, and very dramatic, unfortunately.

Fabrice I., Singapore — Nuclear ☢️ safety is a key topic and I enjoyed reading the list of nuclear accidents on the map at the end of the documentary. How to meet our energy needs without relying on oil and gas or nuclear is a great debate. Electric cars are a start, but how to charge the batteries without harming the environment?

Damien M., Switzerland — Wow, absolutely mesmerizing. Thank you for this beautiful film! Stalker is one of my all-time favorite films. This also resonates strongly with the excellent English miniseries about the Chernobyl accident.

Fereydoun B., Iran — Thank you very much for the film. I watched parts of it some days ago on Facebook and just saw the entire film. It is excellent. I am absolutely delighted. I have always been proud of you, but I am even more so now. I am very glad, very impressed.

Patrick R., Thailand — We really enjoyed Stalking Chernobyl! Brilliant use of archive footage and great interviews, access, and pacing.

Wilson R., Brazil — São pessoas como vc e o seu trabalho que me fazem vislumbrar o quão rica é a humanidade. Apesar das catástrofes causadas ou sofridas, causadores ou vítimas, Eu acredito num futuro próspero para a humanidade. Claro, ha muito trabalho a ser feito. Comecemos por nós.

Valantis G., Greece — We just saw your documentary STALKING CHERNOBYL on YouTube and we are very excited about your work and all the new things we learned about our Balkan neighbors. The Chernobyl accident is something that affected our generation in the late '80s.

Sung P., United States — Loved your movie on Chernobyl—the cycle from paradise to catastrophe to nightmare, back to an abandoned paradise. It was very seductive.

Marta L., Portugal — Thank you for sharing another one of your films! It is beautifully made and a message really worth sharing.

Maria A., Greece — I watched your film and it was really good! I saw places I'd never seen before and I learned a lot about this historical event.

Lina Y., Greece — I watched the film and I think it was great—beautifully made under very difficult circumstances and shedding light on the current situation in Chernobyl and the stalkers. A huge bravo to Iara!

Francine P., Switzerland — Iara Lee is an activist director who is offering her movies for free during the pandemic. I just saw the one on Chernobyl. It is fascinating and terrifying at the same time.

Mathias W., Germany — Ich habe Am Wochenende euren Film. Film "Stalking Chernobyl" im web angeschaut. Durch das Englisch im Film war es schwer für mich alles zu verstehen, das russische habe ich gar nicht verstanden. Die Bilder haben mir aber einen Eindruck verschafft was das für ein Wahnsinn war der sich dort abgespielt hat. Der mensch denkt immer er hätte alles unter Kontrolle, aber das ist oft nicht so, Billige Energie sagen sie bei uns, das ist nicht so wenn ich an die 2 Katastrophen und den ganzen Atommüll denke den wir produzieren. Schön zu sehen war das sich die natur sich das alles wieder zurück holt. Macht weiter so ich freue mich immer was von Iara Lee zu hören oder zu sehen.

Code S., Malawi — The film is really awesome! Very insightful. Great cinematography and well researched. Awesome job!

Carl C., United States — Well done! Your style of presentation was profound and captured my attention. This nearly hour-long documentary film is addicting. Hard to stop watching the historical footage and other varying perspectives of the Chernobyl disaster experience. Again, well done!

James S., United Kingdom — I just watched STALKING CHERNOBYL and I wanted to tell you what a beautiful, extraordinary, and haunting film I found it. Some of the images were so powerful that I’m sure they will stay with me for a long time. Thank you!

Frederico D., Madeira Island — The film shows us a side to Chernobyl that I hadn't know: stalking, an activity that gave life to the current tourism that has come to increase over the years in the area, providing a steady income for the few that reside and look after the area. And who knows—maybe in a few decades from now, the area will be completely free from nuclear pollution.

Julia D., Scotland — Thank you. This is a most revealing film. It shows the complexity of the human condition and our long-term response to a tragedy that is manmade. This film highlights the scientific case for closing nuclear reactors by showing the outcome of a nuclear explosion years later in a very empathic human way—it’s not what you might expect! Or maybe it’s no surprise if you live in the Ukraine, Fukushima or Cumbria!

James W., United Kingdom — The film is very interesting and it's amazing you got such great footage and insight from the stalker community. It also raises some interesting questions regarding tourism in places that have seen great trauma. It's a much larger question, and one that I have been mulling over for the last dozen years without coming to a final conclusion. Thanks for making and sharing this.

Spiros K., Greece — I loved your film and hope it raises necessary awareness of a number of thins: nuclear waste, respect in memorial sites, historical tourism, etc. I really like what you're doing in your documentaries; they may depict places we have seen or think we know, but viewed from your alternative angle, new questions come out. How thing are and how things should be...

Asmaa A., Egypt — A beautiful documentary about the stalkers who are obsessed with visiting the city of Pripyat in Ukraine, where the disaster took place and, to do crazy things, even in the banned areas of the city where the radiation rate is still high.

Loretta D., United States — I saw the documentary and I found it interesting and really well done. I applaud and encourage your initiative. Thank you.

Sasha I., Slovenia — I just watched Stalking Chernobyl. Thank you very much for your work! It is amazing. I felt it as healing, as after the Chernobyl series I felt deep sadness and grief about my parents' generation, the liquidators and their families, my friends and relatives, and all the children born in Ukraine and Belarus after the catastrophe and affected by it and its consequences. And your film brings life back to that narrative, without romanticizing or minimizing the impact. You film reminds us that Chernobyl—as painful as it was and still is—is one of about a dozen catastrophes that we have already witnessed and should be ready to prevent in the future. Thank you!

Kamar A., United States — I just watched the movie! I think it’s really very good. Thank you for your hard work.

Kameel N., United States — Beautiful film. Excellent camera work and great script. There was also a radioactive release at the Dimona nuclear plant in Israel. Radioactive material leaked from Israel’s nuclear reactor several times. Arab48 reported that an Israeli court heard recently that radioactive material has leaked from the Dimona nuclear reactor several times since it was built. The film made me want to be a stalker. You do wonderful work, and you're a wonderful person.

Philip A., Germany — Really awesome movie, Iara! A lot of interesting footage that hasn't been seen before. I never thought you could use my grainy YouTube footage, but ending the film with my videos is super cool. Good job capturing the situation of the Exclusion Zone today!

Gloria J., United States — This is a phenomenal film—so comprehensive yet wisely laid out to help the viewer understand the context of Chernobyl and how it’s become a destination for stalkers, of all things. Thank you, Iara, for revisiting this natural disaster, which made the United States revisit its policy on nuclear energy. It’s amazing to me to risk the radiation exposure by visiting the site. And thank you for addressing the gnarly issue of how and where to dispose of spent nuclear fuel rods in a safe manner. Does that even exist? Well done, per usual, Iara Lee!

Ola M., South Korea — The film is so inspiring and informative. It gave me so many feelings. At one point, I felt really sad for those who lost their lives and were affected. I felt so excited to visit the place and yet scared, and it kept me wondering what humans can witness next. Thank you for this film. I learned many new things and it was inspiring in so many ways.

Mary Z., United States — I am old enough (62) to remember when it happened. I have seen many PBS specials on it over the years and watched the Netflix mini-series. I watched how the world came together and slid the cement covering over the reactor. I have watched a documentary about animal life and about very small villages nearby where people refused to leave or where they came back. I did not know about the video game, nor did I know there were so many "tourists" or "stalkers" visiting. It has always been a very sad and disturbing subject for me. I am a very visual person. I was a visual artist (Realist) for most of my life. I read the book Hiroshima by John Hersey as a teen. The visuals I could see in my head from his description were horrifying. When I eventually saw film footage of Hiroshima much later in my life, my imagination had been pretty much spot on. So when Chernobyl happened, I knew from what little information got out how horrible it was. I was only able to view half the film. It was getting me too upset and unsettled—not your work, but the fact that it happened and now the morbid, disrespectful, and dangerous tourism. Perhaps much of my discomfort has more to do with our current world pandemic than the subject mater of your film.

Geraldine N., Mexico — Mil gracias por compartir, el desastre que puede inclusive ser bello ya que la vida sigue. Los animales están presentes, los árboles, y los stalkers con su necesidad de adrenalina. ¿Algún día comprenderán todos los seres humanos la necesidad de cuidar la Vida? La Tierra? Y el lado humano destructivo, y el arte, todo en el mismo espacio de muerte. Gracias, otra vez.

Rowan C., New Zealand — I enjoyed the film. Thanks, Iara! There are parallels between the world [coronavirus] lockdown and the Chernobyl lockdown, even though they are different. I get an adrenaline rush just from having other people in my bubble. The authorities caused the mess—who are they to say what people should do? They aren't our parents and don't know best.

Michael S., Ukraine — Great documentary. Thank you! I'm glad you found all these heroic stalkers.

Alexia J., Canada — I've finally watched your documentary about Chernobyl. I knew nothing about the stalkers of Pripyat before, so it was all very enlightening. The imagery was stunning as well. I found your documentary fascinating and chilling at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Potagas Y., Greece — I watched your documentary Stalking Chernobyl. It's a very balanced film in many aspects: feeling, information, timing. It's definitely a good piece of work. Congratulations to you and your partners!

Stephanie — I watched the film last week. It's an exceptionally interesting film and approaches the disaster in a unique way. It's a frightening film as we don't know when or where the next horrendous disaster may hit. It reminded me of the Three Mile Island Disaster in 1979, when my son was one year old. Great job and thank you again!

Anthony C., Saudi Arabia — I would like to thank you for sharing your lovely film. I really enjoyed watching it! It's not a classical documentary—more of a moving and heart-warming supplemental naturalism that is really well composed and leads to a greater cause. Great job and thank you again

Velychko V., Ukraine — I watched the movie and thought it was very good. I liked the combination of archival footage and new filming. It was really interesting to look at the change from what Pripyat was to what it became. The characters' stories are very strong. I particularly liked the end of the movie and the music.

Nespoon, Poland — I just finished watching your movie and I'd like to say that I really liked it! It shows so many different lives and times in Chernobyl. Congratulations on your hard work!

Britt H. — I watched the film and found it very interesting, especially when the camera followed the stalkers everywhere. Thanks for your incredible work!

Jörg A., Switzerland — Your Chernobyl film is a masterpiece on humanity. It caused a lot of intergenerational discourse in our family—about responsibility, sensitivity, and age. Wonderful! Thank you.

Julian C., Albania — I saw the documentary and it's awesome. Thank you for sharing your great work with me! I love it!

Ranjan E., India — Thank you so very much for letting me watch this amazing and enlightening film. To be precise, it is a wonderful story and beautifully narrated about people, their lives, their untold sufferings, their hopes, aspirations, and belonging. It is indeed a beautiful portrayal of a myriad of emotions. As ever, Cultures of Resistance Films never fails to amaze us. We always look up to and keep “stalking” your new projects and assignments. They are awe-inspiring. Keep up your great works and your spirits. More power to you and your entire team!

Robert B., Albania — I really liked your film! It's very interesting.

Ranjan E., India — Thank you so very much for letting me watch this amazing and enlightening film. To be precise, it is a wonderful story and beautifully narrated about people, their lives, their untold sufferings, their hopes, aspirations, and belonging. It is indeed a beautiful portrayal of a myriad of emotions. As ever, Cultures of Resistance Films never fails to amaze us. We always look up to and keep “stalking” your new projects and assignments. They are awe-inspiring. Keep up your great works and your spirits. More power to you and your entire team!

Nona S., Armenia — I've just finished watching this documentary film for the second time! Incredible work! I'm still under the film's effect. Highly recommend it! Thanks, Iara, for the amazing work you do and for sharing it with us!

Donna R., United States — Thanks so much for sharing your powerful new film. You have introduced me to new meanings for the terms "stalker," "liquidator," and "post-radiation activity tourism." What a fascinating story of how we humans deal with and ignore tragic catastrophes in such surprising ways.

Pouya S., Iran — What a movie! I really enjoyed watching it. The movie really offered an interesting counter movement to a historical disaster. I think you manage to show the excitement and the beauty that is hidden under one of the ugliest accidents of the last century. Yet, one could question, who are you giving voice to in this movie? I didn't mind hearing from the stalkers, but will it impact them and the dangerous adventures they all go through!? It was hard not to think the movie is promoting that. The connection with gaming made it to the top though. I wished to hear more about it and discover more meanings behind that. That's probably something that needs more analytical work than the honest, interesting movie that you project.

Isabel C., Portugal — Muito interessante o documentário, quer o tema e a abordagem, quer as imagens. Sobre Chernobyl já tinha lido “Vozes de Chernobyl”, da Svetlana Alexijevich, e também vi a série mais recente da HBO. Muitos Parabéns.

Катя Н., Bulgaria — I saw your film and I really liked it. It was an unusual experience to see a documentary in three languages - English, Russian, and Ukrainian. It was amazing to see this mass subculture, which has obviously gained quite momentum among young Ukrainians! I knew about the tourism, but I had no idea about those adventure-seeking kids who keep going there repeatedly. I was thinking about the deficits they are probably trying to fill. It is so very sad to me as I was 14 when it all happened and our communist government did nothing to protect Bulgarian people. All the pupils from my school, as well as the pupils from several other schools, were at that time engaged with some mass choreography rehearsals at a stadium in Sofia. We were there every afternoon in shorts and miniskirts, playing and dancing under the April and May sun and occasional short rains—no protection, no warning, not even a clue that the radioactive cloud had been over us. I want to thank you for sharing your film with people all over the world! It is such a noble and humane gesture!

Jawad S., Pakistan — I just finished watching it. What an impressive film and narrative. Loved it, and loved all those stalkers! Such an interesting but ironic subject. I liked the storytelling and narrative editing. Even for an outsider like me, who was not very aware of the subject, I got the whole idea and feel.

Zaki A., Pakistan — I watched the documentary and instantly loved it. Now I want to move to Ukraine! This film brings the fears of nuclear energy back to life,—how volatile it is and the massive destruction it can wreak, even when it’s being used for peaceful purposes. And Russia still hasn’t learned anything, given that it has come up with a floating nuclear reactor.

Paulo N., Brazil/Amazon — Que filme fantástico! Parabéns. Adorei os animais selvagens e a floresta.

Roberto C., Italy — It's very good—really intense! The film is a mirror of the situation in Italy, where the physicians are working without masks and gloves [during the coronavirus pandemic]. I watched it and left a comment of appreciation, but I have to say that I find what the stalkers do to be really ignorant and unhealthy.

Maryse D., Japan — This documentary on the Chernobyl disaster is worth watching. I must say I have watched many films on this subject, but this is unique. It provides information as well as entertains you. The 'stalkers' mentioned in this movie are worth noticing. It is directed by my very talented filmmaker friend, Iara Lee.

Chit D. — Japanese friends will be shocked. I think Fukushima stalking will also happen. The government has lied the whole time about its dangers. Your documentary is timeless. I enjoyed it immensely. I found it disturbing and amazing at the same time. Radiation here in Japan is not an easy subject to talk about. Hibakusha from the atomic bombs, Fukushima... Chernobyl touches our hearts, though I myself would prefer not to touch the zone physically!

Ashutosh P., India — I watched it and I am speechless. Very well made.. It really highlights the pain people went through and moves at a very balanced pace.

Denise D., Guinea Bissau — Lembrar Chernobyl nesse 26 de abril de 2020 nos leva a muitas interrogações no isolamento, quarentena e distanciamento social ... das "soluções arrogantes" de nossas mentes redutivas, simplistas e gananciosas. entrelaçando humanos, natureza em sua utopia de ciência do progresso triunfante na cidade de Pryriat onde Chernobyl havia sido construída. O desastre nuclear mudou o planeta. O filme dirigido por Iara Lee , com suas sequencias de imagens, fotografia incríveis e narrativa bem construída recupera nossa atenção, renova o interesse e nos impõe a continuidade das consequencias do desastre e atualiza o desafio devido aos novos sentidos em meio a destroços e radiação. Vida, morte levadas ao limite da insanidade humana. Impressiona a revitalização e a recuperação pela industria do turismo, a reconversão de destroços em modo de vida. Chernobyl vive nas entranhas das árvores e seres vivos, modificando sua conformação, pemanece estranhamente perigosa. Potente ambiente para reflexões sobre até onde nos leva o positivismo, o cientificismo do século XX, que agoniza mas ainda não se acabou. Será que a ignorânica reinará na simlificação? Iara Lee, parabéns a você e equipe! Ela nos convida para essa viagem.

Gunnar B., Sweden — Thank you for letting me watch Stalking Chernobyl. It was beautiful and scary. In short: a very impressive documentary, especially because you succeeded in depicting the catastrophe, the aftermath, and the young apocalyptic zone fans without main characters. Congratulations!! The actual place—the zone, the city Pripyat—was always present and in the centre of the film in a combination of reality and nightmare. Your use of the archival materials was poetic and brilliant. And your message was clear as poisoned water in the river: nuclear energy production is dangerous and should be stopped as soon as possible. As you stated, "It's not a question of IF but WHEN the next catastrophe will be." But as long nuclear weapons are in production and development, we will have strong, powerful forces and lobbyists defending nuclear energy.

Your film was also as scary as the place itself is. Twenty years ago, I was there to shoot a documentary (The Voice of Ljudmila). Although I was only there for two days, it was obvious to me: this is a place I will never, ever return to. At the time, there were very little activity in the zone but so many strong feelings of desolation and despair. With that as my personal background, I look at the stalkers in your film as representatives of a young generation losing hope in the time of climate change and the upcoming break down of the capitalistic system, a system completely unfit to meet catastrophes like the present coronavirus or the upcoming whatever… As you see, your film brought up a lot of thoughts for me. I hope many will see it, in spite of the present situation.

Jose O., Azores — Gostei muito do filme que dá uma visão actual do aproveitamento turístico mas também alerta para o perigo das centrais nucleares .... e esta é a mensagem importante. Parabéns Iara e continua o teu bom trabalho.

Natan C., Brazil — Acabei de assistir o filme. Gostei muito! Achei muito interessante. Eu não sabia da existência dos stalkers e achei muito legal como o filme mostra as diferentes perspectivas sobre eles e também sobre o que é hoje Chernobyl, sua história e o que ainda poderá ser o seu legado no futuro. Enfim, é um belo filme, parabéns!

Dan G., United Kingdom — Certainly what most resonated with me were the film’s explorations of the Zone’s lasting cultural significance for those ancestrally connected to the land and what it connotes spirituality. With some compelling exceptions, a lot of the stalkers interviewed seemed ignorant of this important emotional aspect, and it raised a lot of questions I might have liked to see the film go into: What differentiates trespassing in the Zone from doing so in a Holocaust museum, or even a holy land? Is it because it’s considered a government site, or because it was just a historic accident? Could Zone access be treated like a birthright for families impacted? It definitely left me conflicted between supporting reclamation from tragedy and considering the Zone sacred!

Catherine G., United States — I just watched the film. It was totally disconcerting to me—that imprecise, sputtering energy pasted onto a site of destruction, death, and horror. Did Ukrainians work on the film? Have people in Ukraine seen it? I'm curious how they feel. My associate producer is Ukrainian and she wishes people wouldn't celebrate and stomp on the traumatic history of that place. So complicated. It just shows that transparency in leadership would be effective but is completely missing.

Ildeberto R., Brazil — Vi o filme completo. Já conhecia alguma coisa do desastre de Chernobyl, pois em Abril de 1987 estive em Estrasburgo e participei, juntamente com outros membros do Partido Socialista de Portugal numa reunião sobre as consequências do desastre para a Europa. Nunca visitei aquele lugar, mas tive sempre essa vontade, misturada com algum receio de ficar contaminado devido à radiação ainda existente. Adorei ver o filme. Fizeste um excelente trabalho. Parabéns! É uma história dum Paraíso que virou Inferno. Hoje atracção turística... Muito obrigado!!!!

Nonhlanhla G., South Africa — I just finished watching the film. Firstly, well done and congratulations! May you reach the masses. I don't really recall nuclear disruptions in our country or continent, and I was totally unaware of the shift caused by this human carelessness. It's crazy and scary, and it does not look like we as human beings are ready to move away from deliberate destruction.

Gabriela K., Poland — I would like to thank you for sharing your film with us. This is a very important part of history to be remembered. As Poland is geographically very close to Ukraine, I remember when I was in primary school at that time and all the kids were told to drink so called "Lugol's iodine solution," which, in retrospect, turned out to be completely unnecessary. But nobody really knew what was going on at that time as the Russians blocked information, and the effects of the radiation were seen over many years, long after the disaster.

Claire B., United Kingdom — I watched the film and thought it was amazing! It's very emotive, informative, and exciting. I did spot myself in there walking through Pripyat, and it was nice to see so many of the people I know. I am sure it will get excellent reviews and I will watch it again and again. I did think it could have been longer—I didn't want it to end…

Anonymous, Canary Islands — Gracias for sharing your art, your feelings! I really enjoyed it. Very artistic images of an immense place. I think you were able to transmit the sensation of an empty space. And the narrative moves you in a special way!

Jonathan G., Brazil — o documentario e bem completo relata o que aconteceu chernobyl e pode mostrar o quao devastador pode ser uso de armas nucleares, e também a inutilidade do ambiente depois do ataque. e quantidade de pessoas mortas e com doenças cronicas.

Lilian R., Brazil — Gostei muito, Iara !! Estive lá no ano passado e pude sentir uma variedade de sensações que você pode retratar muito bem !! Parabéns !! Beijos !

Robbie W., United States — I just finished watching the film—thank you for sharing. Watching videos of what life was like before the disaster made me sad because I already knew how it was going to change their lives forever. I had pit in my stomach while watching and for quite a while afterwards. I really did not understand the idea of tourists going there and disrupting a place, which I feel should be left alone. Like a graveyard—to maybe be seen but not to be defaced and treated like an amusement park. The stalkers were so young and were not around when this happened, so maybe they don’t sense of sadness that I do—for those who lost their lives and didn't know the danger they put themselves in by helping to clean up the mess, for those whose had to abruptly leave their homes, never to return. I am sure their lives were changed forever. I found the film very moving and thought-provoking. Thank you for all you do.

Ustazah S., Malaysia — I don't know what to say. It haunts me that the youth are so interested in this place. It would be interesting to view their psychology. We live in strange times. The youth seem to accept this kind of place and even challenge it to make sense of these kind of disasters that their parents created. It is a good reminder to let us realize how dispensable human life is for the sake of greed and power of a few. The film showed how the disaster happened and how it will continue to happen in places like Fukishima and elsewhere until the world wakes up and realizes how much our daily lives are controlled and worthless to the 'powers that be'. Your ending was good. It is important for people to realize that this wasn't history but that it is continuing to happen and will continue to happen until people come to their senses and resist... if it's not too late.

Lasse L., Finland — The film was really interesting. I remember when the accident happened—it was some scientist who find out abnormal radiation levels near the Russian border. The story is very sad—all those people who had to go there to do the cleaning work. But the subculture of stalkers was interesting, and the artists too. Before watching the film, I didn’t even know they existed. I recommended the film to some of my friends. I like your way of making films. They provide a lot of material for thinking.

Antoaneta N., Ukraine — I watched your film yesterday. Very impressive! I will share with my friends as well. My sincere admirations for what you do—letting the truth be known and not forgotten. The world needs more people like you.

Davina J., Australia — I just watched Stalking Chernobyl and am still taking it in. I see the fascination but can't understand why the stalkers put themselves at risk. This catastrophe will haunt me forever. I remember the fear when it was apparent what had happened... and I was in Australia!! I've taught some Russian and Ukrainian students recently and we had many an interesting discussion about Chernobyl. The photography was great in this film, as was the music. I appreciated the cross section of interviewees too—balanced. The figures at the end were a shock. We really aren't aware of the other catastrophes and near misses we've had. Iara Lee has put together amazing, and eerie, footage of illegal stalkers, tourists, base jumpers, and artists who frequent the Exclusion Zone. It's an easy watch for such a heavy topic. Do yourself a favor in isolation. Congratulations, Iara and everyone involved. Great job!

Hadeel A., Bahrain — I just finished watching Stalking Chernobyl. What poignant imagery of a site that feels like a haunted place. Absolutely stunning! What a moving way to tell the story of those who risked and lost their lives in this tragedy, while also telling the story of those stalkers who find thrill, adventure, and romance in revisiting this site. I was probably 10 when Chernobyl happened and it felt like the end of life. I remember it so well because at the time I was reading a lot about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I was so affected by what I read. I have to watch The Stalker. Well done for bringing attention to this and other nuclear tragedies.

Anna P. — I recommend you watch this. It raises a lot of questions and I found it challenging. Using a blend of old footage and new, the film explores the relationship between the tragic past in Pripyat, the town directly affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the present. Post-radiation-disaster tourism has become a source of income for the region. Meanwhile, a growing number of illegal explorers try to incorporate past events and move forward in their own way. Who's to say whose approach is right?

Anastasyia K, Ukraine. — Film perfekt! Єколог й арт діяч,мені дуже сподобалось й як єкологу-з науковоі точки зору,й як митцю-з мистецькоі точки зору. Круто

Christian N. — eine beeindruckende Dokumentation!

Anonymous viewer — This is a fascinating and extremely well made film about a bizarre subculture; highly thought-provoking. Obviously, we don't agree with the views of some of the people in the film, but they are presented as opinions, not fact—and you get an extraordinary inside look at the tourists, stalkers, and extreme sports enthusiasts who explain why they are drawn to Chernobyl, despite the obvious risks, which most of them fail to take seriously. There is also an impressive amount of pre-Chernobyl footage of Pripyat and a powerful warning at the end.