Once the Dust Settles

  • John Appel
  • Netherlands
  • 2019
  • 85 min
  • World Premiere
  • Masters
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Amatrice (central Italy), Chernobyl and Aleppo: three places where the residents felt safe until disaster or war brought death and destruction. The film starts when these places are no longer in the news, when the dust has settled and tourists have come to take a look.

Once the Dust Settles centers on stories of people who survived the disaster or war and are now trying to rebuild their lives. Like the woman in Aleppo who was a tour guide before the war, and told visitors about Syria’s rich history and archeology. She’s working as a guide again, but she now gives sightseers tours of the devastation of war.

There’s also the man who used to work at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and survived a huge dose of radiation after the explosion. He guides tourists around the place that has become an increasingly popular attraction. Here, like in Amatrice and Aleppo, the time before disaster struck is gradually fading into oblivion.


  • 85 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic, Italian, Ukranian
  • Subtitles in: English (Closed Captioned)
John Appel
Carmen Cobos for Cobos Films BV, Kees Rijninks / Cobos Films BV
Erik van Empel
Mario Steenbergen
Mark Wessner, Mike van der Sluijs
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