Mi-cro-phone!

Direction
Year 
1988
Country
  • Ukraine
Runtime
19min 
Audio Tracks 
Subtitles 

The film was made after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, which immediately became not only an environmental but also a geopolitical event of the same significance as the Berlin Wall demolition. Chernobyl became a symbol of the inefficiency of Soviet socialist rule and perhaps even a catalyst of the crisis of the Soviet system. Thus it launched social and political transformations in the region. It also became a key element in the legitimization of Ukraine’s independence and had significant influence on the formation of the independent state.

Soviet policies were aimed at concealing or distorting even minimal information about the accident. In such circumstances, the Pathos of the search for truth becomes crucial for the Chernobyl discourse. On one hand, Mi-cro-phone!, released two years after the accident, is a classic Perestroika movie focusing of the search of truth hidden by the Soviet regime. The film is a good metaphor of perestroika, democratization of the media and glasnost phenomena, when seemingly every Soviet citizen had acquired the right to speak for himself.

On the other hand, the film avoids the epic dimension typical for many Chernobyl films and functions rather on the micro level. This shift to micro-history is reflected already in the film’s title: ‘Micro (radiation) and Phone (meaning “background” in Ukrainian)’ - points to small doses of radiation. This close attention to details, allows Shkliarevskyi to create a dramatic and sincere film awarded several international awards, such as the International Federation of Film Critics Award, Oberhausen (1989); Grand Prize at Freiburg Film Festival (1990).

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