The Crimean Atomic Energy Station was one of the most expensive projects in the history of the Soviet Union, but it didn’t operate for even one day. In the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the completion of the complex was canceled. This apocalyptic colossus on the Crimean peninsula now stands in ruins, the wind blowing through it and pigeons nesting everywhere.
But there are actually people living in this apparently deserted plant, on what is now Russian territory. There’s Vitaly, a former supervisor at the station who has built a makeshift ship. And then there’s Olga, who settled here with her young son and their many animals. We also meet Sergei, a loner who escapes everyday life to roam like a modern explorer through the ruined spaces. All three talk candidly about their sense of connection with this strange place.
The striking edifice at the core of Lost Reactor is at the center of a complex conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Nonetheless, political affairs don’t seem to be making much of an impression on these outsiders. Like this meditative documentary, their isolated lives progress at a tranquil tempo.