Inside Chernobyl

Inside Chernobyl

2012, Environment  -   31 Comments
Ratings: 6.17/10 from 141 users.

A film based on current conditions in Chernobyl and Pripyat, where the Soviet Government tried to cover up a catastrophic nuclear accident - something the world had never seen before.

Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had exploded releasing lethal amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. In the control room, Leonid Toptunov, a young but senior technician, begun an experiment which led to an extremely unstable reactor configuration.

To this day many of the switches in the control room remain untouched, still in the same position they were the morning of the accident.

As the reactor core was exposed, a plume of highly radioactive smoke continued to rise into the skies. Chernobyl, located 82 miles North of the Ukrainian's capital city Kiev, was once a small town located in the far west of the Soviet Union.

Nuclear fallout from the explosion was initially spread hundreds of miles carried by the wind and clouds. Neighboring towns and cities were heavily contaminated. However nearly 1000 miles from Chernobyl, Sweden was the first country to detect that something disastrous had happened.

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31 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Bartul

    Everybody mentions the music. But if you had ever come across Brian Eno and his Music for airports you would have realised how whole notes and long music sentences emphasise large empty spaces. This is not a music 'to like' but to underline the main impression. So if it was boring, unbearable or if it was making your mind numb, it did its job right.
    I'm sure the people who live in that desolation where everything reminds you of a life long gone would agree that's how they feel.

  2. Lena and Natalie

    We found that the creator of the film did not effectively communicate the message of the Chernobyl disaster. There was not enough information, with too many establishing shots of the disaster sight, and no facts present for a very long time. Also the translator for the resettled man did not seem to be able to translate very well. And why didn't they wear masks isn't that unsafe???? However I do think that the filmmaker got the intended reaction from the audience, as the music and the shots of children with birth defects evokes sympathy and sorrow. I would recommend this documentary as a starting point of learning about Chernobyl, however I do think that there are probably better documentaries that exist on this topic that provide more information.

  3. Carl

    This is just a tourist film . Not a documentary with any insight. Just because you visited Chernobyl doesn't mean that you are entitled to call your holiday video a documentary. Haunting background music is frankly no replacement for a proper narrative.

  4. Markmatthews

    You guys are being a bit harsh. The filmmaker doesn't claim to be a professional at all. He clearly states he is an amateur and did this all on his own. IMO, he did a great job with the limited tools he had at his disposal.

  5. bumpercrop

    Oddly beautiful, quietly powerful, recent autumnal, observation of nuclear facilities in Chernobyl, Ukraine, evacuated since 1986, still highly radioactive. Basic history provided accompanied by film archives. An interview with a survivor is sensitively conducted. Stunning and disturbing photographs of Chernobyl's genetic
    human deformities resulting from radiation exposure are shown. The Chernobyl climate disaster was caused by the error of one person. 431 global reactors now supply 13% of our world's electricity. We have no known method of permanent containment of nuclear waste. Why do we continue to pay a private industry for destroying our global environment, i.e. nature? These filmmakers risked their lives to bring vital information to humans who want our species to survive. Fukishima continues to smoke, suppression of Chernobyl and now suppression of Fukishima.

  6. Imightberiding

    Grrr! I was forced to give up on this one. It's unfortunate because I really did want to watch it. I had to turn the volume up high enough to hear the whispering narrator but was rewarded only with the horrible background or haunting atmospheric "music" drowning everything out.

  7. Hollis Evon Ramsey

    simply documentation, like a Rick Steves travelogue without the explanations. no questions asked or answered. boring as hell. the "music" would drive elevator riders crazier than normal elevator music does.

  8. darknight32

    Id agree this one was nothing amazing.I usually write pretty long reviews of films,docs and such but this one, not that much to say.There is an eerie beauty in these ruins and the images he shows are really cool.But i think there could have been more dialog,background,updates,interviews with different people involved.Government people,citizens from different areas and so forth.I think this was a pretty light doc,not very hard hitting or informative.The doc isn't horrible in anyway, its just what id again call a light doc.One for people with a passing interest in this part of history,want to check out some images but aren't looking for a deep,technical,2 hr movie. Me,I'd prefer the 2hr deep,technical movie,but there's plenty of those out there and on this site on a vast amount of topics.

  9. oQ

    Despite the tragedy that happened to all those people and to the earth, Tchernobyl now looks like a photographer playground.
    Very well made documentary...(i could have skipped a few of the long meter testing).

  10. Bozman419

    Sure would be a good documentary if someone could find out more about the 23 firefighters that prevented the fires from causing a bigger explosion, and the hard ships they faced in the days following their sacrafice. Found a small bit of info, but i suppose everyone involved and who would have heard their accounts before they died would also have died.

  11. Black N Bianco

    Scary stuff.

  12. bringmeredwine

    Another thing, of course the Soviet Union and the rest of the world was lied to about the gravity of the situation; do you remember years ago, when the President of the Soviet Union was trotted out once in a while in front of the tv cameras, and he didn't say a word and appeared to be DEAD? I wish I could remember his name! (Breshnikov or something like that?)

    1. Staci J Byrd-Ruiz

      Did you ever remember the Name I would like to look more info up?

    2. bringmeredwine

      I'm pretty sure that it was Leonid Brezhnev, President from 1964-l982. Subject: [topdocumentaryfilms] Re: Inside Chernobyl

  13. bringmeredwine

    This was nothing to write home about, just footage of how Chernobyl looked as of last year, like a set from "Life After People".
    The filmaker walks around holding a mini radiation metre up to everything to get a reading, that's pretty much all that was talked about.
    You can tell that there has been much vandalism and theft throughout the buildings.
    This didn't surprise me because I once watched a doc about how the locals (yes, locals) are paid for giving illegal tours of the site. They also go hunting there for their food. Apparently, the eco system was getting back to normal. (they should have had Buddy with his metre along).
    The filmaker only interviewed one older man named Ivan, who had returned to live on his farm. I could barely make out what the translator was saying.
    There are some disturbing photos of deformaties from radiation contamination at the very beginning.
    I'm gonna watch The Battle of Chernobyl now, just for fun.

    1. wb

      Battle of Chernobyl is a really good one, very good background and overall well done doc. This one was a little less enlightening

  14. Giacomo della Svezia

    A minor error in the introduction: Chernobyl is not located in
    the far east of the former Soviet Union, it lies northwest of Kiev, not
    far from the border between Ukraine and Belarussia, which were the more western states of the USSR.

    The Battle of Chernobyl is a much better and more informative documentary. This one is a nice impression of what it looks like now. The scenery is going to change now that they will build a new sarcophagus over the old and decaying one.

    I found the website of Elena Filatova fascinating (kiddofspeed dotcom). It also gives a good explanation of radiation and how relative - but real - its dangers are. There are accusations that her story is a hoax, however I find those improbable.

    1. Vlatko

      I was about to argue (in fact I wrote a comment and I deleted it), but you're completely right. The blurb is an exact transcript of the narrator's opening statement. Chernobyl is in the far West of the former Soviet Union.

    2. Giacomo della Svezia

      It's a question of perspective. For the Chinese, the US is located in the east, the USSR was located mainly in the west. ; )

      2nd edit: the doc I mentioned is also here on TDF.

    3. Pysmythe

      I noticed that, too.

  15. Trevis Robotie

    the guide must be polluted by all means,he doesn't seem to care about the risks of contamination......I don't even wanna be anywhere close to him or this place.......great pity for the ppl who remain behind

    1. Samuel Morrissey

      Its about the time you spend there, more than the power of the radiation itself. You could walk through most places for hours quite safely, but if you stayed in a relative hotspot for too long your dose of radiation would be approaching significant levels, the hotter the quicker. Days or weeks in most places, hours or minutes in others.

      As far as i understand it, the melted core materials formed solidified lava in the lower levels of the structure which would still give you a fatal dose many times over in a fraction of a second were you to somehow get within 10 meters or so.

      However, as long as he ingests nothing from the environment, all the guide has to do at the end of the day is take a shower and change clothes and he's clean.

    2. Trevis Robotie

      all snakes are poisonous if you don't know them well......I'd rather stay out of harm's way.....just in case

    3. Samuel Morrissey

      That is a fair position to take. In that case I'd advise never going to Cornwall in the UK as there is roughly 8x average background radiation there due to radon gas seeping out of granite. Oh, and don't ride on a civilian aircraft, at 37,000 feet the radiation from space becomes 35-40 times the ground level average.

      I only relate this to you as many people have unjustified prejudice about the effects of radiation, mainly as a result of sensationalist media, and I mean pictures of 2 headed snakes and deformed babies which over the years have been proven false. The media is and always will be absolutely shameless. Don't get me wrong, The Chernobyl disaster remains the worst accident in human history, It brings me much sadness to think about those firemen who initiated the regaining of control over the situation, and indeed everyone globally who has ever been effected in any way since. I am not saying that the radiation released did not cause a great many cancers, birth defects, etc. it seems obvious especially in Belarus that it did and continues to do so, but to emphasise my point about the lack of understanding about radiation -

      There is no evident correlation with any increases in prevalence of any known radio induced cancer or other diseases displayed by people in Cornwall, or people like pilots and cabin crew who spend a lot of time at 37,000 feet.

      If radiation is as dangerous and unnatural as the anti atom folks claim then there could be no life on this planet, as radiation is beaming through everything everywhere (even in the vacuum of intergalactic space) at an incredible rate. Literally billions of pieces of atoms are flying through your body, every microsecond. Almost all of them come from the sun, the next biggest lot from space, a few more from the earth and lastly the artificially created kind. Obviously if you generate a lot in a small space that space will become very dangerous, or if the time spent in a moderate field is long, like acquiring sunburn for instance.

      The thing to remember is radiation from nuclear reactions is what keeps our planet warm at the core, and what provides the energy for our forms to hold entropy momentarily at bay. Without it, life could not exist.

    4. Staci J Byrd-Ruiz

      Wow Amazing I had to read twice to just comprehend what you said and I still feel lost lol I dont feel very smart right now . Thanks for sharing What an interesting topic

    5. Trevis Robotie

      ahaha I do understand him,but still....

    6. Trevis Robotie

      Sam,thanx for the know these things,I don't....your approach,logically,will be that of the man with the stepping stones....mine will be that of a total ignorant diving into the blue!I know I just can't handle this stuff and so I roll-lol

  16. Pysmythe

    The composer as the inane mental tangents of an opium addicted tropical fish, warm, watery, and nearly motionless. Can this musical macaque possibly score anything shorter than whole notes? A big distraction, and almost totally inappropriate for the content...

    1. wald0

      I know what you mean, I felt like the whole thing was leading up to the real music to come. Like it was one very long intro that unfortunately never gave way into an actual melody. All windy and warm, lots of ambiance but no content- A minor maybe?

    2. Trevis Robotie

      the music can't be 'A minor',more lyka 'A major' tragedy-lol

    3. Pysmythe

      It starts off well and it ends quite well, but everything in between just misses the mark, in my opinion. I tried to make it work for him, I really did, but at best I think he had the right idea, but the wrong notes. And you're right, an unobtrusive melody or two at some point would've probably helped a lot... When guys start "orchestrating" a bunch of new age chordal "ohs" and "ahs" over a sinister pedal point, with not much else, the words that always immediately come to my mind are: He's being lazy. It's a very common and easy way to just shoehorn something in that could be considered half-a$$ed effective in a film with this sort of content, and I'm not at all impressed by it. I'm probably being way too hard on the poor guy, though, because it turns out he's also the one who filmed, edited, and narrated it, lol. (Maybe this was a film school project and he simply couldn't afford to hire Phillip Glass...)

      The home key of the nicer piece at the end turns out to be E-minor, but I wouldn't be surprised if A-minor is prevalent elsewhere.>> No black keys!