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To mark the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, two remarkable new films have been released by Seventh Art:

Half Life: a Journey to Chernobyl  (click here)

Heavy Water: a film for Chernobyl  (click here)

These sibling films were based on Petrucci's award-winning poetry on Chernobyl.   They have attracted awards such as the Cinequest, as well as screenings at major cultural venues, including Tate Modern (2007).   Heavy Water: a film for Chernobyl has been broadcast on Sky Arts and More4, as well as on TV stations internationally.

“This is powerful stuff."     Time Out

“Deeply disturbing... like looking into the eyes of those who were there."    Radio Times for More4 transmission (April 2009)

“Both an exquisite indictment of tyranny's disregard for its citizens, and an articulate elegy for human hubris. Magnificent."
    The Guardian

Heavy Water: a film for Chernobyl is a powerful and moving documentary... a haunting and captivating film.
A startling look at the aftermath of the world’s worst nuclear accident.”
Mark Resnicoff, Suite 101

“Truly haunting."     The Times

"I wanted to see if we could come anywhere near, in film-making terms, to the rare brilliance of Mario Petrucci’s words.
I strive to do with a camera and an Avid what he does with his pen.”    Phil Grabsky

“An intensely moving film."   Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation


"The film is powerful and moving, the images and the poems poignantly complementing each other, and the contrast of images of destruction with images of life particularly telling... as well as its potential for general classroom use and as a companion to the study of the poems, it would be very suitable for students of media studies as an example of visual interpretation of verbal imagery."
A C Clarke, SCND Education Committee


Excerpts from Heavy Water have been translated into Ukrainian by Vsesvit and also into Romanian and Spanish.

Mario's Chernobyl poetry was featured in Timpul (Romania) for the 25th anniversary of the disaster [March 2011, p.16].

Ukritye from Heavy Water is featured as a Tuesday Poem (click here).

Mario's Arvon-winning
Heavy Water is available from:

Enitharmon Press


The sister volume to 'Heavy Water',
entitled Half Life, is featured

Some socio-literary dimensions of CHERNOBYL... Click here for the transcript of “Chernobyl and the stories of Knowledge”,
Mario's presentation at the ‘UNKNOWN FIELDS: From the ATOMIC to the COSMIC’ Forum
[Architectural Association, London, July 11, 2011]  



Click here for a reworked version of Chains of Transformation - the making of Heavy Water: a film for Chernobyl
published (in its original form) in 'Creativity in Language & Literature: The State of the Art'
[eds. Joan Swann, Robert Pope, Ronald Carter; Palgrave Macmillan 2011]  



Click here & scroll down for 'Three hot drops of salmon oil': the artist and the self in the aftermath of Chernobyl
originally published in Interdisciplinary Science Reviews



"The language of nuclear energy is crucial to its reception in collective and private consciousness. For instance, we can call a nuclear energy installation a 'power plant', thus associating it with strength and natural growth; or else we can describe it as, say, an essentially unstable configuration engineered to operate in that narrow window between dangerous long-term uselessness and actual carnage, a vast atomic turmoil made (by intricate design) to forever hover on the verge of explosion - a kind of tantric bomb. One imagines these alternatives would register in the public domain quite differently."     Mario Petrucci, 2011