The Land of Oblivion: Film #73 of Film 365

Friday 9th September 2011

Director: Michale Boganim
Year: 2011
Stars: Olga Kurylenko, Andrjez Chrya, Vyacheslav Slanko, Ilya Iosifov, Sergei Strelnikov

So, we're finally on to official Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) movies. The Friday evening showing of The Land of Oblivion was the first of the five we watched.

The Land of Oblivion is a movie about the Chernobyl disaster - starting just before the disaster struck, and following the characters who suffered through it, whether they chose to stay or leave. The lynchpin of the movie is Anya (Kurylenko), who got married on the day of the disaster. She now works as a tourist guide, showing people around her now-abandoned town of Pripyat, which was very close to the nuclear power station. Whilst she desperately wants to leave the city, she also finds it impossible to pull herself away.

The Land of Oblivion is an incredibly insightful movie with lots of dilemmas and juxtapositions like this scattered throughout it. The decision to use a range of characters really helps you understand why these people feel the way they do about Pripyat - it might seem like odd behaviour at first, but by the end of the movie it's all starting to make sense. Of course, the director being there to answer questions at the end of the movie really helped, but I felt like what I had watched had already told me what she was trying to convey with her answers. For me, that can only be a good thing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.