Today, the Gomel-Vetka region is still highly radioactively contaminated. Some villages are abandoned. However, other villages maintain a proper social live and conduct agriculture. Even though Russian officials knew the level of contamination, since they conducted measurements after the rainfall took place, measures of evacuation had been introduced only 5 years after the Chernobyl accident.
The film starts with the school in Sivinka. „Sivinka, we will return“, which is also the official title of this film, had been painted by the school children on the wall at the time, evacuation took place. This school in Sivinka had been evacuated only 5 years after the Chernobyl accident. Today, the school nearly disappeared since the building material is recycled for new projects. People in the surrounding area don’t have sufficient funds in order to pay for new construction material.
The film continues with the introduction of an older couple, which lives together with few left over neighbors in a village called Bartholomejevka. They don’t understand why their other neighbors left their community. Beside a dose rate, which is 10-20 times higher than the ordinary dose rate, the couple manages their own little garden with potatoes, beetroot and cabbage.
Sheika, a village nearby also shows a high dose rate. Even though the sign “Sheika” still exists, Belarus officials insist that this village doesn’t exist on the map. Here, people live without electricity, telephone and water.
Some villages manage to live with the radioactive contamination level present and the normal social live continues. The film shows the fest „Desyatukha“ in a newly created Russian Orthodox Church in Stolbun as well as the fest „Kupalya“ in the village of Svetilovichi.
The film utilizes an observational style without voice-over and illustrates with a variety of conversations and examples the live of the population in the radioactively contaminated surrounding area of Vetka.