Representations of the Chernobyl catastrophe in Soviet and post-Soviet cinema: the narratives of apocalypse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this article is to explore how the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 has been represented in seven feature films from the three countries mostly affected by the nuclear disaster: Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The narratological analysis indicates that the films from all of these three countries represent Chernobyl as an apocalyptic event making personal rebirth possible. Although the context of this rebirth is diverse–it could be political, emotional/sexual, religious or existential–the narrative of these films is similarly structured, namely according to a temporal pattern of kairos rather than chronos, thus defining the end (apocalypse) in terms of the supreme time to act (kairos), rather than the final end in a historical chain of events (chronos).


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Studies on Film


  • Apocalyptic narrative, Chernobyl, chronos, exclusion zone, kairos
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-256
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Eastern European Cinema
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch