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Old 04-09-2006, 09:11 AM   #1
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Chernobyl Heart

I happened to see it on HBO when I was away, I have always wanted to see it. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it. It won the Oscar for best documentary short.

Of course it features Adi Roche who works with Ali on the Chernobyl Childrens' Project. It is heartbreaking to see those children. I hope and pray there is never another Chernobyl.

Interview with the filmmaker

HBO: What first inspired you to make this film?

MARYANN: Inspiration probably comes from more places than you realize, the obvious place in this case -- a friend went to see a UN photo exhibit organized by Adi Roche of the Chernobyl Children's Project and he was so moved and shocked at the photographs he implored me to go to see it. I didn't, then another friend mentioned the same exhibit and said you should make a film about what's happened there. On the second mention I knew I had to go and see the exhibit. Once there standing in front of the photographs -shocking images of children, I made the decision to go to Chernobyl to make a film.

HBO: Although there were obvious risks, were you at all hesitant about going to Chernobyl to film?

MARYANNE: No, I was probably too uninformed to realize there might be some danger. I also knew my life was not going to be lived there in Chernobyl. I knew I would be coming back to a relatively safe radiation free life.

HBO: The film is at times heart wrenching to watch, especially when we see the effects on the children. How were you able to handle your reactions while filming?

MARYANN: I don't know. Sometimes it was difficult to see the conditions the kids lived in. In this film I felt a huge responsibility to those kids to at least tell their story. I think that affected me more when I came back and realized what a difficult story it would be to tell and also for the audience to watch.

HBO: Have things improved for the Chernobyl and surrounding communities? What's the latest?

MARYANN: I don't think things have improved much. As long as the sacarphogus is leaking, cesium 137 is still spreading. The heart surgeon, Dr. Novick is returning for more trips to do heart surgery, which means more kids will get the surgery they need to save their lives. Adi Roche and her charity continue to send convoys of medicine, supplies, ambulances, etc. to help the people there. They continue to bring children from Belarus to Ireland for rest and recuperation.

HBO: What would you like for viewers to take away from your film?

MARYANN: To not forget the people there, the kids, the elderly, the parents. I'd also hope they witness the power of one person, like Adi Roche and Dr. Novick and all their volunteers who saw a need and decided to help and did something. Also, I want people to remember that we all have the power of one and also to consider the risks of nuclear reactors.

HBO: Any new projects coming from you?

MARYANN: Yes, I've got a couple of projects in development for HBO and I'm working on a film about domestic violence. I'm writing about my experiences while making "Chernobyl Heart" and I might even write a feature film.

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Old 04-09-2006, 02:16 PM   #2
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I got a copy of this from the CCPI. It's short, but extremely informative. I really liked it because it's easy to get caught up in the emotional aspects of seeing children suffering, but the documentary has lots of scientific information presented as well.
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