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Nature: Radioactive Wolves

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the historic nuclear accident at Chernobyl, filmmakers and scientists set out to document the lives and genetics of packs of wolves and other wildlife thriving in the dead zone which still surrounds the remains of the reactor.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Harry Smith
  • Directors: Klaus Feichtenberger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005MAG8Y0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,932 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Maciej TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 30, 2012
Format: DVD
This is an absolutely unique document, showing a unique place - the forbidden zone around Chernobyl 25 years after the famous nuclear accident.

Radiation level in this area is still high enough to make extended human residence almost impossible, as long term effects on health can be very negative, potentially even lethal. Divided between Ukraine and Belarus, this area covers a grand total of 4760 km2. Very few people live there, as the area was forcibly evacuated in 1986 - still, some people (mostly elderly) refused to leave and some returned later. This elderly population dwindled with time, but a handful of marginals, attracted by the isolation of the area, also came to live in "The Zone". According to the last estimations, there is probably around 500 people living there permanently in the Ukrainian part and probably as much in the Belarusian part.

When an area as large has barely one thousand inhabitants, the result is the creation of an "involuntary national park". Fields and later whole villages were reclaimed by the wilderness and are now covered with forest, shrubs and/or marshes. Even cities are now invaded by wildly growing vegetation. Rain and floods destroyed most of the irrigation system, returning most of the rivers and streams to their natural shape, with small shallow lakes and swamps present everywhere. The radiation doesn't seem to affect plants, at least on the surface of the things - but vegetables, fruits and especially mushrooms growing in "The Zone" are still considered improper for human consumption.

"Radioactive wolves" tries to find out what is the status of fauna in "The Zone". The approach adopted is that if the predators are thriving, then it means that the whole local ecosystem is doing fine.
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By Satch on May 11, 2012
Format: DVD
This documentary examines the site of the Chernobyl disaster as an involuntary park, or area that was left to go wild by accident, rather than by planning. The storyline of Radioactive Wolves is centered on a group of Russian scientists who are actively monitoring the health of a population of wolves that has become established in the zone. Watching wildlife biologists count wolves is not exactly riveting, but the broader context is.

When people think of Chernobyl, they think of it as a a barren wasteland, possibly crawling with zombies and mutants, and radioactive spiders. There are no zombies at all, but there are plenty of creepy shots of abandoned cities, and half-destroyed socialist realist art, and deer walking through hallways. Perhaps the greatest surprise in store for the doomsday enthusiast is the unnerving normalcy of things post-apocalypse. As it turns out, people are far more detrimental to the natural world than nuclear fallout, and there are big, healthy animals running around all over the place.

The major flaw of the piece is also a strength in that it raises more questions than it answers. You feel a little cheated in that we never hear much about the re-introduction of the wisent or of Przewalski's Horse. We're only teased with the vaguest of references to poachers... yes, poachers who sneak into the Zone of Alienation to shoot critically endangered, and apparently radioactive, wild horses. I was annoyed that those storylines were neglected, but left looking forward hopefully to future documentary projects in this strange part of the world.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
First let me say I was expecting a wolf documentary. There is not a whole lot of wolf footage at all. In fact there is mostly people footage.. which I was not expecting to see. I was expecting to see animals.

The information was all very good and informative though it did not explain how the animals are surviving around radiation (unless I missed it).

Footage-wise, this is roughly what you can expect:

Footage of People: 50%
Footage of Animals: 25%
Footage of abandoned stuff/nature: 25%
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I really loved this Documentary about chernobyl and what its like today. Its such a great watch if u love wolves or if u know about chernoybl and the nuclear disaster and are curious what its like now. Looks amazing on blu-ray. Well worth the 12$ i paid for this great story and footage.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although this DVD portrays a seriously challenging episode in our world's history, the magnificent care and concern of the scientists involved shows through and conquers much fear, provides hope, and is truly thought-provoking. I recommend this program and hope that families watch it together.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This film goes to show you, nature can recover from disasterous human error, and left alone from humans can do well on their own.
The film goes on to show us how beautiful nature can be, without people intruding in the balance.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a great and will filmed little documentary. I wanted to see this for the parts about the disaster as much as the wolf parts. The movie is half science half history. This would be great viewing for upper grade students. I am not sure the blueray is worth the extra money but it does look good. If you like Chernobyl history look up Bionerd on YouTube.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A very interesting look at how Nature and the wolves of Chernobyl survive and take back the area contaminated by the atomic accident. Although still unsafe for humans, the wolves and other wildlife seem to have adapted to the radiation.
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