BERLIN

Mayfest 2020 is no longer taking place due to Covid-19. We need your support now more than ever, so sign up to our mailing list, or consider donating, to help us deliver an even more exceptional festival in the future. 


An immersive hybrid of documentary film and theatrical installation, which shows two people living in a ghost town. A story about solitude and survival, the results of a failed atomic experiment.

1986. About 90 towns and villages around Pripyat are evacuated. The failure of an atomic experiment causes a drastic change in the lives of the locals. They leave their houses never to return.

Pétro and Nadia, an older couple born and raised in Zvizdal, refuse to be evacuated.  They prefer to stay put in their old village, in their own house. A ghost town. All their acquaintances have left, their plundered houses bear witness to better days. Petrified places, overgrown by nature.

Between 2011 and 2016 Berlin follows Pétro and Nadia in an effort to portray the evolution of their story over the years. How does one bear years of isolation? There is the lack of electricity, of running water and heating. There are the superstitions, there is the vodka, the muttering, the cursing and praying and singing, the toothaches, the ailments of old age, the 20-km walk to the nearest shop, the wait for someone from civilization.

Zvizdal (Chernobyl - so far so close) draws a portrait of solitude, survival, poverty, hope and love between two elderly people in their eighties surrounded by colourless, odourless but omnipresent radiation.


BERLIN was founded in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2003, by actor Yves Degryse, lighting designer/video maker Bart Baele and actress Caroline Rochlitz. They decided not to pin themselves down on one particular genre, but to venture into the documentary realm and let the site where each foray took them guide their inspiration. BERLIN’s performances are warmly received by both theatre and film enthusiasts, and play in that space where theatre and film, fiction and fact meet.