Alexei and the Spring

(“Alexei to izumi”)
Director: MOTOHASHI Seiichi

2002 Belarussian Subtitled in English Color 35mm 104 min

Production Company: Polepoletimes Inc. Ltd.
Producer: KOMATSUBARA Tokio, KAMIYA Sadako
Photography: ICHINOSE Masafumi
Editing: MURAMOTO Masaru
Music: Ryuichi SAKAMOTO
Sound: TSURUMAKI Yutaka
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[Festivals and prizes] Berlin (Forum) 2002, St. Petersburg (Grand Prix) 2002, Ökomedia (Golden Lynx) 2002, Montreal (Critics Award), and others.

[Synopsis] Documentary set in a Belarus village where despite radioactive contamination, nature flourishes beautifully.
Acclaimed photographer Motohashi and world-renowned musician Ryuichi Sakamoto collaborate. The worst nuclear accident in human history, Chernobyl, contaminated small villages in southeastern Belarus. While most of the 600 residents of Budische left their village, 55 elderly people and a young man named Alexei decided to stay. Though the forests, the farmlands, and crops were all contaminated, a spring in the heart of the village miraculously still brings forth pure water with no trace of radioactivity. Through the villagers and the spring, the film questions what richness in life can be.


Born 1940 in Tokyo. Acclaimed photographer. He began photographing Chernobyl and its surroundings in 1991, five years after the nuclear accident, and has produced 4 photo-collections on the subject to date (2002). His debut as film director came with Nadya’s Village, a documentary about a village in Belarus which was contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout. It was awarded at Okomedia ’98 (Freiburg), Hawaii International Film Festival, and Taiwan International Documentary Festival ’98.