Right now the women of the Zone are fervently baking cakes, painting eggs with intricate designs, and doling out moonshine for the festivities ahead. It's Orthodox Easter in Ukraine.
Tonight a bus will troll through the pitted roads and darkened village ruins to retrieve the last residents and take them – a rare night out! - to the traditional all-night midnight mass at the only church that still operates inside the Exclusion Zone.
After prayers and services, people will gather outside at 3:00 a.m. with baskets of eggs, bread and apples - a bountiful but contaminated harvest - to be blessed by a visiting priest. The babushkas, whose number have dropped by about 20% since last year, will file back onto the bus at dawn, catching up on gossip as the bus driver--a local man who has volunteered his driving services every year for decades--carefully makes his way through the desolate roads, helping each one off the bus, and wishing them a happy Easter.
Last year our cameras captured these ancient, dying Polesia region rituals; now, head-long into the editing process, we’re pleased to be preserving them on film.
Here at HQ, we’re buckling down for a summer of editing and fundraising. Of course, if you know of anyone who would be interested in the film, or in supporting it – please send them to http://www.wmm.com/filmmakers/sponsored_projects.aspx where they can make a tax-deductible donation via our non-profit sponsor, Women Make Movies.
We will continue to send updates and look forward to showing all of you the film you helped make! As the women of the Zone would say: Христос Воскрес! Воїстину Воскрес!
- Holly & Anne
www.thebabushkasofchernobyl.com Twitter @babushkasfilm