Embark on a gripping journey through history with director Valeriy Korshunov’s immersive VR documentary, “Chornobyl: Back to the Future.” Unveiling the untold saga of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, the film takes an unprecedented turn, shedding light on the contemporary narrative of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) falling prey to Russian occupiers in 2022. A reservoir of previously inaccessible historical and contemporary footage comes to life on the screen.
Dedicating over half a decade to meticulous research, the production team delves into Chornobyl’s themes, digitizing its cultural legacy and artifacts. Through the lens of laser 3D scanning and graphic historical reconstruction, specific film scenes transport viewers back in time, creating an authentic window into Chornobyl’s past.
Breaking free from conventional storytelling, the VR format of the film transcends mere observation. It invites viewers to be active participants, virtually immersing themselves in the emotions surrounding the Chornobyl disaster and the unfolding events at the CNPP.
The genesis of “Chornobyl: Back to the Future” predates the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Initially conceived as a 360-degree stereoscopic video for VR headsets, the film aimed to provide visitors with a comprehensive understanding of Chornobyl’s true history. The focus was on unraveling the informational layers of the Chornobyl disaster, notably the role of Soviet propaganda and misinformation.
However, a seismic shift occurred on February 24, 2022. The film’s narrative now grapples with the stark reality of Russian occupation of Ukrainian nuclear power plants and the ominous nuclear threat they pose globally. Beyond preserving historical truth, the film poses a crucial question: What future awaits if Russia’s nuclear terrorism goes unchecked? Director Valeriy Korshunov leaves audiences pondering.
Already recognized winners of the Biennale Cinema College program, project director Valeriy Korshunov and producer Svitlana Korshunova showcased their VR project, “First Day,” at this year’s Venice Biennale.
At its core, “Chornobyl: Back to the Future” seeks to raise global awareness about Chornobyl’s present state and true history. In debunking Russian disinformation and propaganda, the film plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the cultural heritage and national memory of the Ukrainian people.
Supported by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, the film will be accessible in Ukrainian and English versions for VR headsets post its debut at film festivals. “Chornobyl: Back to the Future” promises an unparalleled journey, transcending conventional storytelling to forge a profound connection between viewers and the multifaceted realities of Chornobyl.
Explore more about the VR-film “Chornobyl: Back to the Future” at The War Effect.