DIRECTORJohnson, Thomas
TITLEThe Battle of Chernobyl
RUNNING TIME94 minutes
Web Access
Available online from Top Documentary Films   ( )

This award winning documentary film provides a retrospective look at the Chernobyl disaster and its effect on hundreds of thousands of workers and residents of Pripyat. The filmmaker exposes the Soviet Union's systematic cover-up of the true scope of the accident, drawing from Soviet government materials first made available in the late 1990s and interviews with journalists, plant operators, doctors, military leaders who led the cleanup effort, and government officials such as Mikhail Gorbachev. Former Soviet officials admit the degree of uncertainty surrounding the event, especially during the first few days when no one was sure of the degree of damage or the amount of radiation released. There was also the potential of a secondary explosion – between the graphite in the reactor core and the water applied to the fire – that would have blanketed Western Europe in extremely high levels of radiation. As the documentary presents it, Chernobyl was a battle against an unconquerable and unseen enemy, one which has claimed countless lives and continues to plague the region with environmental and health consequences.

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