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The Battle of Chernobyl (2006)

Documentary of the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl.


Thomas Johnson


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Credited cast:
Tim Birkett Tim Birkett ... Narrator (voice)
Hans Blix Hans Blix ... Himself
Mikhail Gorbachev ... Himself
Oleg Mirochnikov Oleg Mirochnikov ... Translator


On April 26, 1986, a 1,000 feet high flame rises into the sky of the Ukraine. The fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant just exploded. A battle begins in which 500,000 men are engaged throughout the Soviet Union to "liquidate" the radioactivity, build the "sarcophagus" of the damaged reactor and save the world from a second explosion that would have destroyed half of Europe. Become a reference film, this documentary combines testimonials and unseen footage, tells for the first time the Battle of Chernobyl.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:

M Way Films [France]





Release Date:

2006 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

A csernobili csata See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Play Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Narrator: A huge explosion throws the 1200 ton reactor-lid into the air. A cloud of radioactive gas spreads hundreds of meters from the power plant. From the huge hole flames with radioactive particles of uranium and graphite shoot almost 1000 meters up into the night sky.
Youri Korneev (machinist, reactor block 4): You could see bright, luminous colors: orange, red, sky-blue. Actually it was beautiful to behold... like a rainbow.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Real Life Horror Story
1 December 2016 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

If ever there was a film that documented the horrors of nuclear weapons "The Battle Of Chernobyl" is surely it. What makes this film so potent are the images: photos yes, but also a surprising number of retro news and secret camera footage from the nuclear power plant site and surrounding area, as the catastrophe unfolded in April of 1986, in Ukraine.

One of the most haunting components here is the story of Pripyat, a bustling city of almost fifty thousand people in 1986; everyone had to be evacuated. And none of the residents ever returned to live there; the structures remain, but Pripyat is now a ghost town, as are hundreds of small villages in the region, thirty years after the nuclear explosion.

One of the big problems with radioactive material is that not only can it be lethal to humans, but it is also invisible, and it remains for a very long time. This film documents the government's secrecy and lies in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and in later years, and then the denial that now exists among people living in Ukraine and neighboring Belarus that bore the brunt of the radiation fallout.

In addition to the images, a narrator (Tim Birkett) describes the events; interviews include comments by Gorbachev and Hans Blix, along with Soviet technical experts and medical personnel that dealt firsthand with the disaster.

The Chernobyl apocalypse continues ten years after this film was released. People in Ukraine and Belarus, and even in parts of Western Europe, are still exposed to some radiation. Mercifully, in November, 2016, a giant arched shelter, decades in the making, was slid into place over the original, hastily built, cement and steel sarcophagus, to more adequately contain the still leaking radiation at the plant site.

Yet, for several hundreds more years at least, a one thousand square mile area surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant will be off-limits to human habitation, a no-mans land of invisible but deadly radioactivity.

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