In the spring of 1986, a dark cloud rose from the USSR threatening the whole European civilization. Many innocent lives were lost, many people fell ill, the contamination spread and penetrated the core of the once healthy ground, leaving not a single being, or fiber, of the community unscathed. The sickness pierced both the nature and the society of the surrounding area to the bone (quite literally). The new show Chernobyl, by Craig Mazin, tells the story of this sickness. A sickness that didn’t just come in the form of deadly contamination, but in the form of lies, denials, and cover-ups that have plagued the USSR society ever since. The show is a story about responsibility, the lies, and the truth, but most of all — about the human courage that shines through the unimaginable suffering.
Craig Mazin’s miniseries are written as a homage to the victims of the tragic disaster and the brave few who tried to uncover the truth. The show is determined to honor science and historical facts alongside honoring the story of those whose voices couldn’t be heard. The show unfolds like a dark and heartbreaking journey towards the truth, as it follows unsettling stories of the characters.
Overall, the Chernobyl disaster went down in history as one of the saddest events that happened on European soil. What’s more, the aftermath of the explosion also struck the world as a tragedy on its own. Craig Mazin tries to portray exactly this ugly face of modern society — the face of cover-ups and lies that won’t let the society heal, pushing it further down the painful path. The unwillingness of the authorities to responsibly face the terrible aftermath meant the survivors’ wounds went unmended which widened the gap between the people and the government even more.
Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, and Emily Watson, alongside other respected artists, give voice to those who went unheard and bring their untold stories to light. Craig Mazin’s vision and the artists’ performances showed us the less-read passages of this chilling chapter of modern history. The show holds a mirror, not just to those responsible, but to the whole of modern society that created many tragedies in the past decades. On April 1986, Europe stood on the edge of a cliff. We hope that artists like Craig Mazin can make us ask “why” and get us to look closely into the harsh truth so that nothing like that ever takes place again.