Atomopolis is a general name for satellite cities of nuclear power plants, as well as the name of one of the last utopian Soviet projects. Development of the nuclear power industry gave new energy to the post-war Soviet economy. Next to nuclear power plants grew a new type of cities – atomopolises, which began to be built in the USSR in the 1950-s, and in Ukraine – in the 1970-s.
When the Soviet Union turned to Lenin's utopianism, atomopolises became places for intensive implementation of the lost utopian ideals. Atomopolises embodied the current ideological, urbanistic, environmental and scientific ambitions. In the 1970s-1980s, when the Soviet state was experiencing a social and ideological crisis, atomopolises became sanctuaries for the Soviet utopia.
Atomopolis. Assembling Utopia was put together from stock footage of construction and operation of seven Ukrainian atomopolises – Pripyat, Kuznetsovsk, Enerhodar, Netishyn, Yuzhnoukrainsk, Teplodar and Orbita. The conventional and carefree images of these towns of 1970-1986, at first glance, are an example of socialist-realist coverage. By assembling them in a new way and exploring the history of the nuclear cities, the film attempts to reveal the utopian and ideological components of the atomopolis’s image.
This film is about overcoming the contradictions of the later Soviet Union in the utopian cinematic image of an atomopolis.
ATOMOPOLIS. ASSEMBLING UTOPIA
2016, Ukraine, 45 min.
Authors: Stanislav Menzelevskyi, Anna Onufriyenko, Oleksandr Telyuk
Music: Nisantashi Primary School
Narrator: Yuriy Makarov
The film was made as a collaboration of Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre and the Festival of Film and Urbanism 86.