The Russian industrial city of Chelyabinsk is currently one of the world’s most radioactive sites. During the Cold War it was one of the Soviet Union’s secret cities and it developed the first atomic bomb. Today the city is known for its radioactive contamination – but it also has one of Russia’s most vibrant dance scenes.
The film follows two young dancers, Vova and Masha, who are stuck in a city that makes them sick. They use dance as an art form to create a space where they can find faith and hope for the future.
Being an environmental dance film, Tankograd is rather extraordinary in its subject. In addition, the film presents the city’s dance company and its creation of the performance ‘Celestial bodies’ about losing gravity as a human being, in combination with glimpses of the 20th century’s greatest radioactive environmental disaster.