Birdsong – Stories from Pripyat


Birdsong – Stories from Pripyat (2016)

38 minutes

Directed by Clara Casian

Original Score by Robin Richards

Produced by Katie Popperwell

Camera by Ricardo Vilela from Sagitta Media and Clara Casian

Edited by Clara Casian

Based on testimonies by Valentina Kuprienko, Mykola Dubas, Olha Savotivna, Mrs Volodymyr Kachan, Alexander Sirota, John Roberts

Poetry by Maria Casian

Archival footage sourced from Dovzhenko Centre Kiev, Volodymyr Kuznietsov and North West Film Archive UK

Supported by Arts Council England, HOME Artist Film, University of Salford, Old Granada Studios and Low Four


Birdsong – Stories from Pripyat is a newly-commissioned film by Clara Casian with original score by Robin Richards. The film is underpinned by nuclear research and incorporates found and previously unseen archival footage with original material filmed on location in Ukraine, while Robin Richards’ original score for piano, strings and synthesisers is based on first hand testimonies of Pripyat residents, liquidators of the Chernobyl plant and evacuees to his hometown of Stockport and nearby Glossop from Ukraine and Belarus. The project combines the immediacy and energy of live music with the magic of cinema, revisiting a dramatic and devastating historical event using personal and scientific narratives to draw out the tensions and truths at play in our collective cultural memory of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

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