Every one of us shares the experience that there are only few times in our lives that open our horizons in ways we never expected. When Tanya and I started our project we were not aware it would take us to places we've never seen before, introduce us to people from all over the world, and show us how humans get lost after unthinkable nuclear accidents. The destiny of our protagonist Leonid was so impressive, his sadness so touching, that we just had to tell his story as an example of so many forgotten stories of men, women, liquidators, children and victims of Chernobyl.
We never thought we'd be presenting it to viewers all over the world.
We are happy to be part of this festival, as filmmakers and as viewers. Here I saw films that taught me, that this chain begins with the unhealthy mining of uranium, gets worse during the whole process until the reprocessing of spent fuel, silently polluting complete coast areas, nature paradises, bringing cancer and other diseases, destroying peoples health and professions. We have also seen how always and everywhere the same things keep happening: Governments and officials lie to people, which have been affected by uranium mining, bomb tests, nuclear accidents, and preparation of the unholy fuel for weapons and energy by the so called friendly atom.
The festival has opened our eyes. It has shown us, nuclear problems are not only national problems but have a worldwide structure. The lack of responsibility by decision makers and politicians for the people who elected them. And the missing knowledge about the rotten structure of the nuclear industry, a worldwide network which contaminates areas all over the world and covers up their actions.
A festival like this is an important institution and may be the only weapon against this worldwide crime, which brings profit to few and ruins the life of millions. This festival has opened our horizons, so we hope that it will be established in cities all over the world.
We would like to thank Marcia Gomes de Oliveira and Norbert Suchanek for their enthusiasm, for their initiative, for the invitation and being so heartily welcomed in this great city Rio de Janeiro, in this country which represents so well most of the natural wonders of our world. Their engagement shows that kind of responsibility and respect for people and nature we'd like to see in our politicians. To bring all these filmmakers worldwide together is the kind of political action we need to stop this profit-driven nuclear war against people. It's maybe the beginning of a worldwide network of information, interested in nothing but the truth.
We wish, that this second festival continues to establish a long and worldwide tradition and independent information campaign through cinema.
Rainer Ludwigs, Rio de Janeiro, 14.07.2012
LEONIDS STORY - DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT
Just a few weeks before the 25 anniversary of the disaster of Chernobyl another name on the map of nuclear disasters was known. For several further generations these defeats will stay as black spots in the history of mankind. In 2010, I saw the children of Chernobyl in hospitals, I spoke with the liquidators, who were still traumatized after 25 years and I felt that I would have to narrate the history of this dark episode again. Not from the view of decision makers but from the perspective of the poor men who had no chance to change their destinies in that uncontrollable course of events. The consequences will last fort the rest of their lives and that of their disabled and unhealthy children. When I began that project in the early fall 2010, I had no idea that reality would turn that issue more relevant again than anybody would have estimated. How many Chernobyls and how many Fukushimas we will still experience?