What To Read & Watch If You Can't Stop Thinking About Chernobyl

Photo: Courtesy of Liam Daniel/HBO.
Personally, after watching all five episodes of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, I'd like to think about anything other than nuclear disaster. However, the show has sparked a public fervour that's positively radioactive (six million cumulative viewers is, itself, explosive), and the show's creator himself, Craig Mazin, is sharing useful tidbits and resource material on Twitter for fans who want to dive even deeper into the real-life 1986 disaster.
"So I promised two things when the series ended," Mazin wrote on Twitter. "The first - sharing the screenplays. I've gotten permission from @HBO to do that, and @johnaugust has generously offered to host them, so I'll let you know when they're up. Second - a bibliography of sorts. Here goes."
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Ahead, we've picked out some of Mazin's book and movie recommendations (seen quoted from his Twitter thread below), as well as added supplementary material, like podcasts and articles, that don't just look at Chernobyl, but other disasters, as well as provide useful perspective for those now suddenly paranoid about nuclear disaster and the end of the freaking world.
Movies:
Come And See — "A Soviet classic, and in my opinion, the greatest war movie ever made. It somehow manages to be restrained and unblinking all at the same time. Hard to watch. Important to watch."
The Voice of Lyudmilla — "A Swedish documentary about Lyudmilla Ignatenko, directed beautifully by Gunnar Bergdahl. It's entirely about Lyudmilla (and her son!), you hear her story directly from her, and she even returns to the Pripyat flat she shared with Vasily."
Surviving Disaster — "A BBC movie starring Ade Edmondson as Legasov. It's a somewhat different vibe than ours, but I think it's terrific."
Books:
Voices From Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich — "Absolutely essential, and heartbreaking, reading," Mazin wrote. "There's a reason Ms. Alexievich has a Nobel Prize."
Ablaze: The Story Of The Heroes & Victims Of Chernobyl by Piers Paul Read — "ABLAZE is a very well-done book from a Western historical perspective," he explains. "As with a number of the books I read, it's a bit outdated simply because of when it was written, but it's an excellent recounting."
Chernobyl: A Documentary Story by Iurii Shcherbak — "Has some amazing stuff from a Ukrainian and Soviet perspective, including some remarkable exchanges with Legasov himself."
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Podcasts:
The Chernobyl Podcast by HBO — This is the official podcast from the miniseries, hosted by NPR’s Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal and Mazin.
"Human Error in Volatile Situations" from This American Life — In an episode about how simple human intervention can lead to disastrous problems, Act Two tells the story of a 1980 midwest nuclear disaster that almost happened.
"Fog of Disbelief" from The Moth — The first-hand account of Carl Pillitteri, who was working at Japan's nuclear power plant during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Articles:
And, as of 2011, you can visit certain areas of Chernobyl on official tours. But maybe... don't?
The final episode of Chernobyl airs on Sky Atlantic on 4th June at 9pm and is available on NowTV

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