Chernobyl (TV Mini-Series 2019) Poster


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They got it right
curiosityonmars24 May 2019
I was born in Pripyat. I was four years old when the accident happened. Watching it is more horrifying than living through it. We didn't know what we were dealing with. It's not like a hurricane or an earthquake that takes you by surprise and causes massive destruction. Here everything looked normal, that day was just like any other day and yet you were told to abandon everything and just leave. The immediate casualties of the accident were not huge, but it had an enormous impact on lives of hundreds of thousands of people. I often think what my life would be like if this didn't happen.

This mini series is a masterpiece, perfect in every way. Some people are complaining here that the actors don't speak Russian. I'm a native speaker of Russian and Ukrainian, I don't want the actors to speak Russian. You get so consumed by this show you stop noticing what language they speak.

It's not a documentary, so not each and every detail is accurate, yet I would still call it authentic. The creators got the important stuff right... Both of my parents worked at Chernobyl plant, I grew up hearing stories and versions of what happened. I think this show is the best depiction of the Chernobyl disaster and the stories of its victims. This show is to remind all of us of the cost of lies.
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I highly recommend this film!
natashapekar10 May 2019
Hi. I'm from Kiev, Ukraine. I was born in 1983 and I was 2 and a half years when the Chernobyl catastrophe happened. I remember 1980s and I can tell that the authors of this film made a GREAT job to show every detail of what the world look for is in the times of Soviet union. The telephones, the clothes, the haircuts, the cracked paint on the window sills, even the door glass is similar to what I remember. There are couple of things which seemed weird to me: firefighters didn't have the red stars on their helmets, and most of the time people use the short forms of the names when they talk to each other (Vasya, not Vasiliy, Lyuda, not Lyudmila). But the most important thing that this film shows is that the soviet authoritiies lied to people about this catastrophe all the time. For example, in Kiev which is 130 km from Chernobyl, nobody knew about the high levels of radiation till the middle of May, they even held a parade on the first of May, when the level of radiation in Kiev was 100 times higher than normal (iodine131 isotope) and nobody gave us the iodine pills. Everyone who tried to tell the truth was called the provocateur and could even be fired from work. I highly recommend to watch this film. This is a tribute to all the heroes who lost their lives in a radioactive flame and saved all of us from death.
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Goosebumps and tears
stelmakh11 May 2019
A Belarusian here, born in 1983. Parents were scientists, knew everything on the 27th. Chernobyl is never forgotten in Belarus and all the details of the tragedy (a flawed reactor, Soviet style apparatchiks in control, a failed experiment, a clumsy cover-up) are widely known. Yet the series managed to depict the horrible events in a way never before seen. A definite tour de force, I had to literally pause a couple of times to comprehend what had just been shown. Goose bumps and tears, what a masterpiece. Likvidatory - heroes, who contained Chernobyl - should never be forgotten.

Grim Soviet atmosphere depicted accurately apart from some very very minor details. Surprised that a Swedish director who made music videos for Madonna and his English-speaking cast managed to portray Chernobyl events better, than anybody from the countries most traumatized by the explosion.

The tragedy will live forever because of this haunting masterpiece, what a brilliant creative achievement.
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No hero wakes up wanting to die
m-porpaczi15 May 2019
As my mother tells it, the weather was quite nice, the sky was clear without any sign of clouds in the spring of 1986. It was like any other day behind the iron curtain. Not a lot to do but not a lot to worry about either, a long day of boring work after dropping the kid off at the kindergarten, just to pick him up again at the afternoon, just like yesterday or any other day since the beginning of time. This is why she did not understand why the old lady (who she very much liked because she seemed to love children and had that neverstopping smile) told everyone at the nursery school not to let the children out to play, don't feed them the veggies and don't let them drink the milk we had for every lunch before that day. We lived in a hungarian town close to the croatian border and the life in that town was pretty simple apart from that day. We lived 900 kms from Chernobyl and we did not even know that place exists until 3 days later.

Apparently a man who did not introduce himself called most of the schools and nurseries in the country and told them the same message. A lot of teachers did not take it seriously as he did not mention any details, just the warning: do not let the children out, do not feed them any vegetables which grows overground (potatoes are fine), do not let them drink anything apart from bottled liquids.

Noone knew what it was about. Noone knew what danger we are in. I assume this is why it was such a shock. The life was simple and we were not supposed to know stuff. We were not supposed to be afraid, maybe only because the capitalist pigs over the iron curtain. But something changed that day. A faceless, nameless man risked his life and called everyone he could to warn them about Chernobyl. News like this is not easy to contain, soon everyone was talking about what could happen and why. Is it a nuclear attack? Is it the CIA? Are they looking at us from satelites? Are they bombing us?

It was the first crack on the Iron Curtain. Not Reagan's stupid monologue, not the thousands of fleeing east-germans, not the soviets economy's ridiculous debts. Entire nations realized their lives mean nothing, millions felt betrayed. A man with no name defeated the Soviet regime with a few telephone calls.

We still don't know who that man was. After 30 years and a few inquiries we have no clue who risked his life to prevent thousands of deaths and millions of illnesses. Some historians are adamant the person was executed and vanished without a trace, some say noone found him at all. All I know I have to be grateful for him. We all have to be. He saved a nation. Sure, we could survive the radioactive cloud the mild wind blew over our country but when I look at my two children who are the same age I was back then I am pretty sure I am not willing to take any risks. Would you?

Dear anonymous man who defied a violent regime to save millions: We will forever be grateful. Dear ukranian workers whose names we will never know: We will forever be grateful. The workers whose names we know: We will forever be grateful.

This show tells a story noone should forget and this is the right way to tell it. Bluntly. How the man with no name told us.
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So far looks excellent
Lladerat8 May 2019
Im ukrainian, born in 1988 and still live here. I want to give the authors of this show a big thumbs up for the whole set they have made. Every little detail of the buildings, flats, uniforms, clothes, cars, especially big thumbs up for ambulance "RAFiks" (RAF-2203), almost everything is 99% identical to the real things of the time, just a few mistakes on some signs that have been written in a mix of russian\ukrainian and some other unknown language, but it all doesnt matter, because what i have seen previously in other movies about soviets were so bad that its not even comparable to this. The other thing is this "comrade" word that almost everyone throws while calling or shouting at someone, its just one of those stereotypes thats still left in western world, in reality no one in an everyday life talked like that, especially not in Ukraine in 1986, it was mainly used in 'official' language in meetings and media, people just talked like you and i would today. Apart from this two small inaccuracies i am shocked at the level of production of this show, it is very good, no one outside of Ukraine has ever made a good tv series about Chernobyl before, i have a weird feeling it was made by someone from USSR, because there was zero moments where i cringed watching it. It was mostly "spot on", "spot on", "wow, spot on". Can't wait for the next episode!!!
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alexander-phoenix14 May 2019
I'm Russian. Amazing work! Newer, you hear this, never ever before western cinematography made such authentic film. I speak about details: cars, kitchens, clothes...
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Bleak, Unsettling, Haunting All Throughout
thegldt7 May 2019
'Chernobyl' is scarier than most horror movies in that it is a dramatization of actual, real-life horror experienced by thousands of people on that fateful April 1986 morning and the years that followed. This disaster has haunted the nation, Europe, and the rest of mankind more than three decades later. And that creeping dread permeates the whole show. It's difficult to watch. But it certainly makes it a must-watch.
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jfirebug21 May 2019
My husband grew up near Kyiv and his father drove one of the buses that evacuated the civilians from Pripyat. I have heard his stories of the disaster; the people's concerns, fears and sacrifices. We watch this together and he is amazed at it's authenticity. The set detail, the way the Soviet regime hierarchy functioned, the denial and secrecy surrounding the disaster. He tried (as he usually does when watching a Western production based in or about that part of the world) to find errors or inconsistencies but has not been able to - yet.

The acting is impeccable by all, the filming is top notch, the sounds used to heighten the tension versus music. The way they are able to capture that exact feeling of anxiety, horror, disgust and sadness all rolled into one is admirable.

I have completed the series and it definitely ranks as one of the best. This story has been waiting to be told and there is hands down no one better than HBO to do it. Russia has said it intends to produce its own Chernobyl program, it will be interesting to compare the two. Theirs will purportedly label the CIA as the perpetrator....
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HBO did it again!
eduardoafescuta7 May 2019
The first episode somehow surpassed my expectations for what this TV Show would do with the biggest nuclear disaster ever! Without giving any spoilers besides the obvious, the cinematic quality is unbelievable! I found myself looking at many transition scenes with disbelief, a complete state of shock- that's how good the first episode of HBO's mini-series "Chernobyl" was! The writing wasn't LEGENDARY but it was great, but most importantly, consistent! Every actor did an amazing job at portraying each character and their feelings, which ultimately, led to a even greater ambience. When the episode ended, I was left with a feeling like if I was in Chernobyl! I felt like I was contaminated by radiation. Although that might sound silly, I really felt unwell after watching "Chernobyl"! That just shows how incredibly effective the first episode was on displaying the horrific events that took place in Chernobyl, and how many lives were absolutely destroyed and affected following the disaster. So far, a must-watch!
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Now you look like the minister of coal!
ahmetkozan8 June 2019
In terms of series expression, it moves on in a style that we can call "documentary-drama". But there is a serious scenario success here. The visual and verbal emotions of the series we watch are sometimes causing anxiety, sometimes causing anger and sometimes we cannot prevent our eyes from being moistened. The gloomy atmosphere of the Soviets is very well reflected. The background music supports this. It has a cinematic narrative. You feel the catastrophe up to your buttonhole. Nevertheless, acting certainly takes the business to a much higher level. Chernobyl is now at the top of the "Top Rated TV Shows" list in IMDb. This is a significant improvement, even if you are a person who does not consider the IMDb score very much. Such a great success in a short time... It really deserves a round of applause. 10/10
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The truth is scarier than any horror movie.
andie7443915 May 2019
What is so terrifying is it's not trying to be a horror programme, it's what actually happened. It's not gratuitous... it's what happened. And it's scarier than any horror movie I could ever call to mind. There are scenes where my blood ran cold, where I felt queasy but most of all I was just horrified by the scenes that depicted those first on the scene. You always look for the helpers in any disaster. But what if the disaster overcomes the helpers. What if even the strongest of us are no match for the horrific event. It's almost unthinkable. But it happened here. This will stick with you long after the credits roll. As it should.
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Emotionally drained...
frimark21 May 2019
I'm Russian, my father went to Chernobyl as a physicist quite a while after the explosion (a few years). However, he is still shocked of what he has seen over there. I think he will love this TV series...

Anyway, I want to say that this is incredible. I've seen just two episodes and I can't find words to describe how emotionally deep is this film... The details of the Soviet life that are shown in this TV series are incredible. I can't imagine how hard was it to get to this level. It must have been a deep research with tons of interviews. Besides the details, the filmmaking and the music - absolutely unbelievable. Thank you for this. This is one of the best things I've ever seen in my life.
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stephenpdodds7 May 2019
Grim is an understatement.

This is one of the very few shows that I'd bless with a ten star.

It is subtle considering the subject but at the same time does not flinch in away from the harsh and immediate reality.

I'll never love this show but I will forever have had my eyes opened by it.

Shame on the Heathen that gave it 6/10 because of the English accents.
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Highly Recommended
dipendrakumarmisra7 May 2019
Just finished the first episode. I was waiting for this miniseries for quite some time. It is very well directed (no background music or anything superfluous to heighten the tension). The broad themes are: the disaster itself, people (firefighters, engineering staff) behind the disaster and the state apparatus that is refusing to come to terms with the disaster. Acting is very realistic and to the point. Cinematography is great and you can feel being in the 1980s Ukraine.
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So far, so great 👍👍👍
raggingbull14 May 2019
Only two episodes in, and I'm totally hooked. Hard to believe that these things actually took place, and only 35 years ago. It's really quite frightening. Fans of bio-disaster films such as "Contagion" and "Outbreak" will be instant fans, but to be honest, "Chernobyl" offers something much more than others have within this sub-genre. The political and non-fiction elements give it a leg up, and the acting from Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgard is excellent as usual. If the rest of this series follows suit, then this is something that you're not gonna want to miss.
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murkis12397 May 2019
This will go down in history. This will be shown in schools. Truly shocking and extremely realistic. And that's coming from an ex-Soviet citizen. I was amazed how detailed everything was, even the representation of the evil Soviet regime. Totally on point. And that was just the first episode, can't wait for more.
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Chernobyl episodes 1-5 > GOT Seasons 5-8
bearerring18 May 2019
I'm russian. And this is as real as soviet union in 80's gets. It's worth it 100%.
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What is the cost of lies?
smoothrunner28 May 2019
"What is the cost of lies?". This question is definitive for understanding "Chernobyl" mini-series.

I was a kid living near Pryp'iat' when the forth nuclear reactor exploded. Both of my parents worked at that Nuclear Power Plant. My sister went to school in Pryp'iat' on April 26, 1986. Nobody told us nothing about the danger. Moreover, those, who wanted to leave Pryp'iat' for personal reasons weren't allowed to do so. Only after more than 36 hours after the disaster, on sunny Sunday evacuation begun. We were told that the evacuation is only a "temporally measure" and that we will come back to our homes on the next day, after they'll "clean up" Pryp'iat'. Well, more than 30 years have passed since that promise. They told us nothing about the level of radiation, neither gave us potassium iodide. My parents, who went back as so-called "liquidators" told me that even in the May of 1986 they were deceived about the radioactivity level and didn't receive potassium iodide. Most of their colleagues are dead by now. There were lie everywhere and about everything.

The mini-series nailed most of that lies and show its consequences. The criminal and cowardice nature of the soviet government, the incompetence and fear of big and small "bosses" without proper education, but with big ambitions. The fear and meanness of careerists with black souls, ready to lie to the last and easily sacrifice others. Especially easily such liars are willing to sacrifice others. The conscript soldiers and reservists (which were called "partisans" by liquidators) who were sent to the roof to clear it from graphite are mostly dead by now. These "bio-robots" were sometimes misused, worked over the "safe" time, sent back more and more. Such dehumanization is terrifying. Evacuated people not only lost their homes and all their previous lives - they were doomed to diseases and "stigmatization" by society. Their lives were divided on "before" and "after" the disaster. In the May, 1986 along the roads near Pryp'at' lay a lot of shot dogs - it was heartbreaking to see, my mother recalls. She was looking for our dog among those dead bodies.

This is the real cost of lies. "The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all". Soviet atmosphere and life recreated as thoroughly as possible. Total lies, cowardice, incompetence and inhumanity of the system and its functionaries evoke memories and is as frighten as a revived corpse enchanted by necromancers from HBO. Craig Mazin has created a spiritualistic seance under the guise of the mini-series. The degree of immersion and horror is amazing. No horror film is capable of what reality is capable of. Musical accompaniment, background noises, absurdity and madness of what is happening on the screen, the doom of the performers of someone else's will, going to suffering and death. And the total lie of all and about everything. All of these shown by wonderful actors cast, with tense dramatization, perfect ambient sounds and music. Deep and haunting show, with excellent balance between staying true to the real story and keeping audience in suspense despite the fact that we all know how the story ends.

The whole soviet system was build on lies, on denial of truth. All we are eager to believe in convenient lies rather than to accept painful truth. And sooner or later such ignorance of reality inevitably leads us to collision with it - the real world reminds about itself ruthlessly to those, who are willing to live in dreams instead of reality. But when the lies became building material for the whole political system, the manifestation of truth can became catastrophic. Truth is like radiation - it is invisible and you can easily deny its existence until you begin to vomit and die from radiation sickness or, if "lucky", from cancer.

P.S. Some commentators complains about the absence of "Russian language" are ridiculous - locals spoke Russian at best with their national accents. In small villages locals spoke Ukrainian or Belorussian or mixed both languages. Thereby one essential factor was missed in the mini-series. As liquidators joked with grim humor, in Pryp'iat' Moscow wanted to extinguish all the national minorities - in 1986 conscripts from Latvia were "thrown" to Pryp'iat', in 1987 - conscripts from Central Asia. The local population were Ukrainian with nearby Belorussians. Moscow didn't care much, because population of Russia did not suffer at all in a result of that stupid experiment conducted by the order of Moscow bosses on the reactor designed with engineering miscalculations. When it exploded, mostly Ukrainians and Belorussians suffered, with other national minorities sent there as conscripts.

P.P.S. "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Or you may live in lies, in illusions, slave of fear, and truth will truly crush you. Everyone decide for themselves.
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josephwhitton16 May 2019
I work as an apprentice within the nuclear industry and I have to say without a doubt that this was the most horrifying thing I have watched in a long time. This isn't due to fact that the show is actually scary per say but it's is because the whole thing is true. This actually happened. Apart of my course so far has been learning about chernobyl so I know in detail the progression of these events and even still I was shocked the way that the show demonstrated how ignorant and naiive they where to what had actually happened.

As far as the show goes the way it is desplayed on screen is mesmerising I can't even begin to imagine how it felt being there at the time wondering what was actually going on but I believe this show is as close a representation as we will get. The acting is excellent you almost forget you are watching a show as the reactions and emotions displayed feel incredibly genuine and beleiveable.

The science included is spot. From my knowledge of how they understood nuclear physics and radiation almost 40 years ago this is very well done whoever was part of the research team was no doubt a veteran within the nuclear industry and it shows as I cannot fault any of the information that is passed across and it is done so in a fair amount of detail.

Overall this is an excellent show so far and I can only imagine it will get better as it goes on and without a doubt will shine a light on the tragic events of what is easily the greatest human error of modern times. I highly recommend this to anyone who is unaware of the consequences of this event and hopefully this will showcase the safety precautions it had inflicted upon the modern nuclear industry as that is just as important as showing what went wrong.
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It is hard to overestimate the importance of this show.
emholberg27 May 2019
I was born in Ukraine, 1971. Parents - Soviet "intelligentsia": mother was a high school teacher, father - medical doctor in the military. By the time it happened, we lived near one of the strategic nuclear missile site deep in Siberia. Every year, during the summer school break we used to go to Ukraine, where we spent most of vocation. It should have been the same in 1986, but Chernobyl happened. Official info reiterated that there is nothing to worry about, unless you are in the vicinity of reactor itself. But we all had learned to read between the lines and my farther used his military channels to find out EXACTLY what kind of catastrophe was taking place. He had some info from KGB guys themselves. However, he was reassured that Kiev and certain parts of Ukraine was free of the nuclear fallout and the level of the radioactivity was within normal urban level. He was also clearly warned where NOT TO GO under any circumstances: North-West of Ukraine and big part of Belarus was a heavy fall-out zone. They also mentioned some European countries. Needless to say, that nobody else was talking about this on TV. We made a decision not to change our plans for the summer, but keep in mind those warnings.Each of us had DKP-50A - dosimeter that measures the exposure dose of gamma radiation. We checked the data afterwards and all measures were withing normal limits or less. I remember though, that it was restricted to collect mushrooms or wild berries in the forests anywhere in Ukraine. Any dusty environment was considered dangerous. All water wells were sealed with plastic etc etc Mini series exceeded my expectations. Authors put quite an effort to correctly depict intricate details of this catastrophe. As other reviewers already mentioned, I had noticed so far ( 3 episodes) only minor discrepancies in the overall image of the life in the USSR. People, behavior, political relations etc. Example of such a minuscule inaccuracy - officials, let along common folks, didn't use "comrade" as frequently as it might seems from the episodes. It was very formal, official form of addressing. Usually, after first meeting, they addressed each other by the first AND middle name. In the military it was different - "comrade" + rank (as in modern Russia, BTW). I'm looking forward to see the rest. I am thankful to the authors and actors for their job. My deep bow to those who lost their lives and health, saving millions of lives. EVERYONE should watch this show and see for himself the kind of horror that can be unleashed in the nuclear war.
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Just watch it (!)
krzysztof-1824131 May 2019
30th of April, 1986, was a cloudless, sunny day in southern Poland. I was 13 years old, and went to school as everyday. Just before noon teachers started running, closing all doors and windows, and telling us to stay inside, that the air is radioactive. One hour later we were given Lugol's iodine (still remember its awful taste). There was discussion if we can safely go home. No one knew any details. Composition of beautiful weather and gloomy atmosphere was unreal. Years later, I know what was happening in the background. In morning hours of April 28th one of the stations of Polish Central Laboratory for Radiation Protection (CLRP) in northeast Poland measured radiation exceeding normal level half million times.Two hours later they knew it was reactor explosion, somewhere. Government crisis meeting took all 28th/29th night. Polish prime minister called his Russian counterpart, only to hear he "knows nothing" about any nuclear accident. By 3am "Polish Legasov", prof. Zbigniew Jaworowski from CLRP was called to join the meeting, and he achieved impossible - convinced Polish communists that the worst should be expected. They decided to give iodine to all children and suspend production of milk and vegetables countrywide, starting from the next day (east part of the country first). Chernobyl - I've never written movie review. I've never seen such an accurate depiction of how communist country operates. How it looks. I was literally time-traveled over 30 years back. Incredible. 100/10. You know what is most chilling (for me)? 33 years ago communist Polish government, by some miracle, managed to react in relatively short time. Today - it's impossible. There are no iodine stockpiles. The network of Polish CLRP's 140 measuring stations was dismantled. What about other countries? I don't know, but... Last remark - my grandmother died in early 1987. Rapidly developing thyroid cancer. What exactly caused it? I guess I'll never know.
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Requiem for Lies
Vivkon7 May 2019
This is a heartbreaking story based on true events and people's memories of the 1986 nuclear disaster known as Chernobyl. Aside from the fatalities and severely disabled victims many people died due to lies and cover up activities in the Soviet Union. Poor minded politicians and engineers sacrificed truth to the fate of thousands of victims.

HBO did a great job in revealing this great world sorrow. This TV series allows viewers to look into the Soviet political regime riddled with freedom of information restrictions. Any governmental mistakes and accidents immediately were became highly confidential material, creating an excellent this manipulation of mass consciousness. "Chernobyl" explicitly demonstrates how misinformation and false statements put in jeopardy the health and life of millions of innocent people and wildlife.

This show allows the audience to feel the volume of grief and mourning of those families who lost their children, husbands and other families members due to this tragic event. The most heartbreaking dramatization in the first episode is the dialog between dispatchers. That dialog in Russian with English subtitles on the black screen and red text signals that everything has been started and nobody knows yet the consequences of the nuclear accident.

This TV series is a form of dedication to all of those people who risked and sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others. It is possible that the airing of "Chernobyl" will bring world-wide attention to the impact of a nuclear energy disaster on human society. Some people will be taught first aid tips in the event of radiation exposure: move underground, remove contaminated cloth, wear a respiratory mask, have KI (potassium iodide) to block absorbed radioactive elements in the human body. Many people died, however, the TV memory of these events gives powerful recognition to the truth of what happened and what we have learned.
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Catastrophic, breathtaking, accurate
markstech-4940028 May 2019
My parents were located 120 miles north of the accident. Before any word got out, they told me they remember seeing a film of dust in the sky. Little after that - when word got out, everyone in schools - jobs - work, was told to drink iodine pills daily. It's crazy to see the accuracy of this show. I watched it with my parents and their eyes started to water because to this day they cannot believe this happened. It's the only show that leaves me wanting more. I'm happy they are only making 5 episodes, that can only mean this show was meant to show the accuracy, and nothing more. No hollywood BS.. no 'monsters' (chernobyl diaries), just straight facts. The acting of this show is mentally insane - you literally feel like youre not watching a show , but youre literally there. HBO has created a masterpeice, and I'm glad more people will realize what Chernobyl is. I'm surprised about how many people dont even know about it. So, thank you HBO for making this GEM.
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For the uninitiated, this is the most thorough depiction ever!
bulldawgs_heather16 May 2019
So far, the show has been amazing!! As a scientist who is fascinated with nuclear physics/chemistry, ionizing radiation and a voracious reader of anything dealing with atomic sciences, I knew I would love it immediately. I want others to know just how accurate the series tries to portray what actually happened - it is the closest thing so far made. The creators did extensive research to try and show just how messed up the Chernobyl accident was. I try and read anything that discusses this topic, and have read most things, and the level of detail is phenomenal. I highly suggest anyone curious about Chernobyl to watch this, pronto.
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A duty of memory that was necessary
manga-th12 May 2019
After seeing the first episode of Chernobyl I feel contaminated by radiation. Stating, acting, photography ... everything is amazing. We go through a lot of emotions, but the ones that dominate are disgust, horror and sadness. Absolutely brilliant.
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