33 years after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, HBO channel shot a 5-serial mini-series Chernobyl. After showing the first four episodes, he headed the rating of TV shows of all time according to imdb.
The Chernobyl series directed by Johan Renk, filmed by HBO with SKY, after the first series eclipsed the sensational final of another HBO series – Game of Thrones, becoming one of the main events of the 2019 movie world. And this is not yet the season for the presentation of awards.
The mini-series tells the real story from the first minutes after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant before the court that named the perpetrators, the story of the people who took part in the aftermath of the consequences, and tries to restore the sequence of events that caused the accident and give an answer to the question that still remains without answer – what happened and who is to blame.
The mini-series is filmed in a documentary format. “I started working on the script five years ago, collected and read a huge number of books, articles and watched a lot of documentaries. The main source of inspiration for me was the book Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Aleksiyevich, which told the stories of 500 witnesses to the accident (including the story of one of the main characters of the series Lyudmila Ignatenko. – Approx. Ed.), ”Said the script writer of the film Craig Mazin
Most of the scenes of the show were filmed in Lithuania, including the Ignalina NPP, which was preserved since 2009. There are still many places in Lithuania that allow recreating the atmosphere of the Soviet Union. 30% of the series was still filmed in Ukraine and the viewer with a keen eye can easily recognize the locations in Kiev: Podol, Obolon, Khreshchatyk, the library named after him. Vernadsky Str. Bogdan Khmelnitsky next to the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
To record a unique soundtrack to Chernobyl, the composer Hildur Gudnadtir went to Ignalina NPP to record the live sounds of the station and the environment. These sounds are the basis of music.
In the film, there is only one fictional character – nuclear physicist Uliana Homyuk. This is a collective image, which embodied the entire team of scientists who worked on investigating the causes of the accident. The series shows the stories of real people who are at the epicenter of the accident and have taken part in eliminating its consequences. Behind each name stands the real fate of a person. Who are these people and how was their future life.
Operators of the reactor shop and fire Pripyat
30 people – firefighters from Pripyat, Ivankov and Polessky, who arrived to extinguish the fire, as well as the operators of the reactor workshop, who were in the epicenter of the explosion, rest in a common grave at the Mitinsky cemetery in Moscow. A memorial was erected over their grave. According to official data, in the first month after the accident, 31 people died. The body of one of them, Valery Hodemchuk, a senior operator of the main circular pump of the fourth power unit, remains under the rubble.
Vasily Ignatenko’s wife – Lyudmila
The film tells the real story of a family of a fireman from Pripyat Vasily Ignatenko and his wife Lyudmila. At the time of the accident, Lyudmila Ignatenko was in early pregnancy. Vasily was among the first firefighters who put out the fire without any means of protection and knowledge of the nature of the fire. In the morning, Lyudmila found out that her husband, together with her colleagues, is in Pripyat hospital. With signs of acute radiation sickness, Basil and others affected by the accident, they sent to Moscow, where Lyudmila went after her husband, hiding the pregnancy. Until the death of her husband, Lyudmila Ignatenko did not leave him for a minute, also having received a considerable dose of radiation. The daughter of Lyudmila and Vasily Ignatenko lived only a few hours after birth. After the accident, Lyudmila was ill for a long time. Contrary to the forecasts of doctors, a few years after the events described, Lyudmila gave birth to a son Anatoly.
Valery Legasov (1936 – 1988) – a member of the USSR Academy of Sciences engaged in physical chemistry, joined the government commission to investigate the causes and eliminate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. He spent four months at the scene of the accident near the destroyed power unit. In August 1986, he made a report on the causes of the Chernobyl accident at the IAEA meeting in Vienna. Staying in close proximity with the reactor significantly undermined his health. In 1988, the day after the anniversary of the accident, he was found hanged in an apartment. The official version of death is suicide. After himself, he left tape recordings describing his role in investigating and eliminating the consequences of the accident.
Boris Shcherbina (1919 – 1990) – Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers (1984 – 1989), headed the government commission to investigate the causes and eliminate the consequences of the Chernobyl NPP accident. He initiated the evacuation of the population of Chernobyl and Pripyat and residents of all settlements within the 30-kilometer zone. In 1988, Shcherbina headed the commission on the elimination of the consequences of the earthquake in Armenia. A stay in the immediate vicinity of the accident site from the first hours after the explosion affected the health of the official. He passed away at the age of 71.
Anatoly Dyatlov (1931 – 1995) – at the time of the disaster, deputy chief engineer for the operation of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Viktor Bryukhanov, Director of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Nikolai Fomin, Chief Engineer, Alexander Kovalenko, the head of the reactor department, Boris Rogozhkin, the shift supervisor, and the State Inspector of the USSR State Nuclear Technical Inspectorate Yury Laushkin were found guilty of the accident. The main reason was called negligence. As a result of the trial, which took place in July 1987, Dyatlov was sentenced to 10 years in a correctional colony. Four years later, he was released early due to illness, as a result of the accident he received a high dose of radiation. He died at the age of 64 from a heart attack.
Mechanical engineers Alexey Ananenko, Valery Bespalov and Boris Baranov
In the second series of the series there is an episode when three mechanical engineers are sent to flush the coolant of the fourth power unit in order to avoid the likelihood of contact of the molten core with thousands of tons of water that has accumulated as a result of extinguishing the fire. Engineers successfully coped with the task, having received a low dose of radiation. All of them remained alive, despite the fact that the results of the second series gave the impression that they died as a result of irradiation. Boris Baranov died in April 2005.
Miners from Tula region of Russia
The Commission for Investigation and Liquidation of the Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident made a decision to cool the core from below with liquid nitrogen. For this it was necessary to break through the tunnel under the reactor. To accomplish this task, about 400 miners were mobilized from the mines of the Tula region of Russia, who in less than 50 days laid a tunnel 150 meters long, laid down the rails and started the pipes. The miners worked without breaks, each shift lasted about three hours. Most became disabled by receiving a large dose of radiation.
People from the bridge in Pripyat
From the height of the past years, crowds of onlookers seem to be one of the worst moments of the series, having come out to admire the glow of the fire. Someone went to the balconies, someone went to look at the bridge, located at the entrance to Pripyat. It offers the best view of the Chernobyl NPP. After the accident, the radiation background reached 600 roentgens. To this day, it here exceeds the permissible norms several times. The people who went to the bridge that night received a huge dose of radiation, many of them died a few months later.
In the fall of 2017, the fourth unit destroyed as a result of the accident was covered with an updated Shelter object – an arched structure, which should last until 2117, which reduced the level of radiation in the accident zone.
After the release of the Chernobyl series on the screens, tour operators organizing excursion tours to the Chernobyl zone, note a significant increase in interest in traveling to the Chernobyl zone.