Articles & Notes, Video — March 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm

“Chernobyl Diaries”: what was left after the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe…?

Oren Peli, the man behind infamous “Paranormal Activity” is to present us a new horror film, that caught my attention just today, thanks to TwitchFilm.

This time, Peli will take on the roles of producer and scriptwriter, while Bradley Parker directing – the “Chernobyl Diaries”.

That’s right, a horror film based on the worst catastrophe in nuclear history, that occured in Pripyat city of Ukraine on April 26, 1986.

The film follows a group of six young tourists who, looking to go off the beaten path, hire an “extreme tour” guide. Ignoring warnings, he takes them into the city of Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, but a deserted town since the disaster more than 25 years ago.

After a brief exploration of the abandoned city, however, the group soon finds themselves stranded, only to discover that they are not alone…

As a man born in the former Soviet Union, the film caught my attention due to the fact that it is connected to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. While not being born in Ukraine, I was always interested in the so-called “abandoned cities” of the world, which include Pripyat of Ukraine, where radiation levels have surpassed all levels, and pushed local people towards, well, hell.

Thus far, I remember seeing only two movies where Chernobyl is mentioned – one is a sci-fi tale with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier 3), where a terrorist captures a nuclear plant in Chernobyl, and the other one was an amateur short film made by some Ukrainian. Both films told very little of Chernobyl, unlike “Chernobyl Diaries”, that is set to come out May 2012.

The IMDB says the film was shot completely in the U.S. (I didn’t really expected the crew to go to Pripyat and film a horror movie there), and the trailer looks fresh enough. I’ll be looking forward to the film, when it comes out.


Of course, making a movie on Chernobyl does have to have some entertainment (plenty of which provides the trailer at the end of this post), however this is just easy. In my opinion, it would have also been nice to make a movie (or a documentary) on Leonid Telyatnikov, a man, who became the “Hero of the Soviet Union” thanks to Chernobyl catastrophe.

Telyatnikov was the head of the fire department at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and led the team of firefighters to the fire at reactor number 4 which became the Chernobyl disaster. Despite the radiological dangers, they had no radiation suits, no respirators, and no working dosimeters.

According to one source, Telyatnikov headed the fire fighting effort at Chernobyl Reactor Unit 4 after the explosion in April 1986. At that time Telyatnikov was the chief of military fire prevention at the Chernobyl nuclear-power station. Telyatnikov and his subordinates ascended the badly damaged and heavily radiation contaminated roof of Reactor Unit 4 more than once in order to prevent the fires from spreading and endangering Reactor Unit 3.

In 1987 Telyatnikov was named a Hero of the Soviet Union. Two of his subordinates, Vladimir Pravik and Vicktor Kibenok, were given the award posthumously, as they died from acute radiation sickness soon after the disaster.

Telyatnikov continued his service in the Ministry of the Interior of the USSR, and, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, in Ukraine. In 1998, Telyatnikov headed the volunteer fire department of Kiev, and designed the “Junior Firefighter” program. He died of cancer at the age of 53.

On April 25, 2006, the twentieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, a monument was dedicated to him at the Baykove cemetery in Kiev where he is buried.

I am sure there were other heroes who gave their lives trying to save us from this nuclear hell (special thanks goes to Soviet Union officials who, at that time, tried to do everything to prevent the world from knowing about the catastrophe).

However since Telyatnikov, righfully I assume, got the most fame for what he did, he would deserve a documentary film (or a feature film for that matter) to be made about him. While this not a commercial idea at all, we will have to deal with “Chernobyl Diaries” instead.

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One Comment

  1. I would agree on all your comments and I too Know about this Disaster as well as My Wife heads a Non-Profit fund callen The Hostage Chernobyl Fund for everyone that was affected now and during Chernobyl accident and I never knew how the Japanese stepped up and have given Millions of dollars to this fund while Russia has stepped back from all financial duties. So please give to this Fund and help these people get the treatment they deserve.

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