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Tarkovsky (1986)

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Germán José Manuel Toro Ghio, son of Germán Alfonso and Jenny Isabel Cristina, became a citizen of planet Earth in the cold dawn of Sunday, May 11, 1958, in Santiago, capital of southern Chile....

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Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on the recent visit to the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant...

Los Angeles Time, September 6, 2022

 

How is it possible that barely 36 years after the fatal Chernobyl incident we are carrying out an insane invasion with artillery fire into the very bowels of a nuclear power plant hell?

 

-Once upon a time, a long time ago... an old monk lived in an orthodox monastery. His name was Pamve. Once he planted a dry tree on a hillside.... Then he told his young disciple, a monk named Loann Kolov, that he should water the tree every day until it came back to life. Anyway, early every morning Loann, filled a bucket with water and went out. He would climb the mountain and water the dry tree and in the evening when darkness had fallen he would return to the monastery. He did that for three years. And one day he went up and saw that the whole tree was full of shoots. Whatever they say, a method, a system, has its virtues. You know, sometimes I say to myself, if every day, at exactly the same time, one were to perform the same act, like a ritual, unchanging, systematic, every day at the same time, we did the same thing, the world would change....  

Aloud, Andréi Tarkovski incarnated in the character of the great journalist Alexander of his feature film Sacrifice while planting a dry tree on the shores of the Baltic Sea... Yes, that same Alexander, the famous film director, playwright, geologist, scriptwriter, philosopher, journalist, painter, poet, professor of Aesthetics, with studies of the Arabic language, graduate of the Russian University of Cinema Gerasimov (VGIK), acclaimed four times at the Cannes Film Festival(Grand Prix Special du Jury, Ecumenical Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Prize and winner of the Cannes Film Festival), and who, in 1983, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, reflects on the search for an answer to our legitimate existential concerns.   

His friend, the letter carrier, is the first to congratulate him on his birthday, who with his presence further fuels the existential questions to other unknowns, delving into the philosophy of the -rotation- on the life cycle (Friedrich Nietzsche, Germany, 1844-1900). Or, in our ephemeral passing through life, in which some and not a few, spend the sixty seconds of a minute, the sixty minutes of an hour, the twenty-four hours of a solar day, the seven days of a week, the twenty-eight or twenty-nine or thirty or thirty days of a month or the three hundred and sixty-five days of a calendar year and so on until the end of their lives, waiting for something "extraordinary" to happen in their daily lives, that longed-for and blessed "miracle", which, by the way, almost never comes. The letter carrier friend reminds the great journalist Alexander of why he always sees things in a pessimistic way?  

Thus begins one of the most remarkable feature films ever produced in the history of the seventh art, Sacrifice, scripted and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, born in 1932 in the city of Ivanov Oblast of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), who died in exile on December 29, 1986 in Paris, France.

Andrei Tarkovsky always had a vision, which it would not be fair to call pessimistic about the reality and the future of Soviet society, if one takes into consideration that its existence is developed in a system that had as a condition, the principle, the uprooting of individual identity through the cruel policy of exile. That is to say, the premeditated migration of its inhabitants to remote and culturally different areas from their origin of birth.

Undoubtedly, Tarkovski, due to his thoughts about life from a deep philosophical and poetic conviction; surviving within an alienating, oppressive and totalitarian society, made him see the facts greyer than the common denominator of his fellow countrymen in their coexistence with the absurd system.

During the celebration of the birthday of the great journalist Alexander, in the company of his family, his friend the "letter carrier" and the auxiliary staff of his home, what he feared so much happens, a nuclear event of enormous proportions is unleashed unexpectedly.

And, so it was, Andrei Tarkovsky's premonition came true, on April 24, 1986, reactor no. 4 reactor of the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin nuclear power plant, near the ghost town of Pripyat, about 18 kilometers from the city of Chernobyl in northern Ukraine of the former USSR, paradoxically in the middle of a safety test, due to human error and the lack of qualified personnel in one of its shifts, overheating occurs in one of its reactors inciting a series of two explosions that culminates in a grade 7 nuclear catastrophe. The rest of this nuclear apocalypse is known to all.

That is why the existential reflections of the great journalist Alexander in the film Sacrifice on our sometimes insane human behavior are so valid today.

 Yesterday, upon receiving the first news from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the inspection visit to the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant , as reported by the Los Angeles Time newspaper, in a note signed by Hanna Arhirova of Associeted Press, on September 6, it states:

 ...-prepared report of its visit, the IAEA said artillery attacks in the vicinity of Europe's largest nuclear power plant must cease immediately. "This requires an agreement by all relevant parties for the establishment of a protection zone" around the plant, the report said. "We are playing with fire, and something very, very catastrophic could happen," Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned the U.N. Security Council, days after leading an inspection visit to the plant.

 I suppose the final reflection of the great journalist Alexander would be at this time:

 How is it possible that barely 36 years after the fatal Chernobyl incident we are carrying out an insane invasion with artillery fire into the very bowels of a nuclear power plant hell?

Finally, if we invoke the philosophy of -rotation- of life, Tarkovski's premonition begins with the exhibition of his film Sacrifice, unfolds with the nuclear disaster at the Vladimir Ilich Lenin plant (Chernobyl) and concludes with his death in exile, in December of that same year "1986". Not only did George Orwell (1903-1950 United Kingdom) with his anticipated essay "1984" anticipate the dangers that our societies could encounter in their development, but Tarkovsky, through his unique philosophical reflections, foresaw apocalyptic nuclear situations for the future of our civilization.

 

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