HBO’s Chernobyl mini-series

HBO Chernobyl mini-series
HBO’s Chernobyl

I’ve written before about the quandary of watching documentaries and historical reenactments of nuclear events. On the one hand, of course I need to see such modern interpretations of past events I’m trying to make sense of. On the other hand, for some reason it’s rare to come across a film that actually contributes firm historical data. I end up spending far too much precious time poring over such films. Do the filmmakers know something I don’t? Is the interpretation historically accurate and if not, what does that mean for me? Is the perspective in line with mine? What have I learned?

Chernobyl, HBO’s recent mini-series, ranks number one on the IMDB movie site, and reviews and commentaries about it are swirling around the ether. I don’t have an HBO subscription, so had to get lucky and watch it via a friend’s generosity, and have only worked my way through two of the five episodes, but early impressions are propitious. The production is stellar, the acting superb, and attention to detail first-rate, and I think I’m actually getting something real from the experience, in terms of both facts and historical assessment. What’s more, the creator, writer, and producer, Craig Mazin, features in The Chernobyl Podcast, with an episode of reflections after each onscreen hour, which is marvellous for me (though it’s exhausting). I’ll post again in a week’s time.