Twenty-eight years after the catastrophic nuclear accident in Chernobyl, the city of Priyapat is still abandoned, eerily decaying into the irradiated landscape of the beautiful but ghostly Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. But where man can’t safely go, drones can, and the result is this lovely but haunting short film by director Danny Cooke.
Armed with a DJI Phantom 2 drone, a GoPro 3, and a geiger counter, Cooke—who was on location in the Ukraine filming a segment on Chernobyl for CBS news—got bird’s-eye footage of Priyapat and its environs, including the abandoned amusement park, from above.
About the experience, Cooke writes:
Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I’ve been. The nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 (the year after I was born), had and effect on so many people, including my family when we lived in Italy. I can’t imagine how terrifying it would have been for the hundreds of thousands of locals who evacuated.
During my stay, I met so many amazing people, one of which was my guide Yevgein, also known as a ‘Stalker’. We spent the week together exploring Chernobyl and the nearby abandoned city of Prypiat. There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.
You can discover more of Cooke’s work here.