Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Video of the Month

(Discovery Channel, 2006, 93 mins.)

This heart-stopping account of the attempt to prevent Europe being engulfed in nuclear disaster is one of the greatest documentaries of recent years. Though Ukraine is not formally part of the Global South, it could be considered as such, and in any case this documentary speaks to the wider phenomenon of males conscripted, or volunteering, for the most dangerous tasks in the public sphere. Five hundred thousand men battled the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl. Thousands died, and as the documentary makes clear, they are still dying, long before their time. It is additionally powerful to view "The Battle of Chernobyl" in March 2011, as Japan undergoes its own nuclear crisis, with men again at the forefront of the disaster response.

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