A close-up portrait of a man in a hat, turtleneck, and coat, all dusted with snow, gazing at the camera, with a snowy landscape in the background.

Sebastian Mez
2012 | 84 minutes | Germany, Russia
U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

A harrowing cinematic conjuring of a danger that can’t be physically perceived and of the strength of a people who bear its weight, Metamorphosen chronicles life near the Mayak nuclear facility in Russia’s Southern Urals region. Still in operation, Mayak was the first plant for the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons in the Soviet Union.  Although unknown to the general public, accident upon accident at Mayak repeatedly irradiated the area, affecting the people and nature in the area in untold ways. This carefully constructed documentary, more impressionistic than investigative, explores the impact of those accidents, illuminating along the way the resilience of those who coexist with this constant, invisible menace.

Co-presented by CEC Artslink


What compelled you to see for yourself?
For me, documentary film has nothing to do with being objective. I don’t see myself as a journalist. I am a filmmaker. I want to use the cinematic language to deal with the topics of my life, things that move me, that interest me, that I think are important. And in the end, it’s always just my vision and my point of view; it’s how I feel and how I want you to see things. I dislike people saying: This is nothing but the truth. There is not just one truth. Or this is the reality. No. It can be just my reality or your reality. It’s always about what you see for yourself in life and therefore in a film.
—Sebastian Mez | Director, Metamorphosen