“Why didn’t they ask me or come talk to me? Prepare me for it in a human way?” – says the real Lyudmila, one of the few survivors of the Chernobyl disaster.
Last year around this time, HBO released a miniseries based on the real life events that resulted as a consequence of the nuclear disaster in the City of Pripyat.
The Chernobyl nuclear power station along with the city of Pripyat has long been abandoned. Ever since the plant’s No. 4 reactor blew up, the world has not been the same. The area around the plant is prohibited and the radioactive fallout was expanded all across Europe.
The TV show on the Chernobyl disaster that aired on HBO received immense applause and rave reviews. It won all the awards and earned top ratings throughout.
However, do you know that the real-life Lyudmila has a completely different story to tell? Apparently, she was not even informed at first. This show and her story were featured against her will. She knew that she would receive a negative response from the people around her. Despite her refusal, the production continued and they released the show.
Source: The Independent
In a recent interview, she spoke openly about the incidents that transpired behind the scenes.
“There were people hounding me at my flat. It got to a point where Journalists would jam the door open with their foot, and try to record an interview with me. But what could I tell them if I knew nothing about the film? Literally – nothing. I found out from advertisements that there was a film about me.”
This is how a person finds out that there’s a movie on the tragic incidents of her life. These people are making a movie that talks about her experience with the nuclear explosion, it elaborates the death of her husband and her child and she is not even informed. This is outrageous and breaks every human right in the book. You’re not only dehumanizing her emotions but also capitalizing on them.
The woman literally had to move out of her house and shift to a completely new place just to find some peace. She also revealed that their mantra at the time was: “For the atomic workers, not for soldiers.”
She also revealed how the authority started the process of evacuation by 28th and that is when people realized that a real catastrophe had taken place.
She then spoke about the queries and negativity that she had to face for simply being there for her husband. They called her reckless and the murderer of her child.
“How could I sit next to my husband knowing that I was pregnant? But then – how could I just leave him there? Tell me? I thought my baby was protected inside me. We were completely clueless as to the danger that radiation posed, and how dangerous it was to our surroundings.”
She continued and talked about the death of her husband and her final moments with him.
“They said that the central nervous system had been completely devastated. But I didn’t understand what she meant. I thought, so what – so you’ll be a bit high-strung… so what - you’ll have no hair; it was falling out all over the place.”
“We laughed and joked about things. But we didn’t know that things were coming to a conclusion… to the end.”
She then went on to explain how the film has altered reality.
“And they lie in the film, a lot of unfair and incorrect sequences. In the film, they showed Vasya (husband) screaming and becoming hysterical. No, my Vasya was so calm and patient, measured. He was never hysterical.”
It’s obvious that many things occurred in the series just to give a theatrical touch to it. However, the production never thought of the emotions that they tapped into. This story was a real-life event, and they should have been more responsible.
However, HBO has another story to tell. In an official statement, they said that “Throughout the process of making Chernobyl, the producers were fully committed to depicting all events, including Lyudmila’s story, with utmost sensitivity. The production team, via local representatives, had multiple exchanges with Lyudmila Ignatenko – before, during, and after filming – with the express purpose of making her aware of the project and its depiction of her experiences as previously documented in several first-person accounts. She was also given the opportunity to participate in the storytelling process and to provide feedback. At no point during these exchanges did she express that she did not wish her story or that of her husband, Vasily, to be included. The filmmakers made every effort to depict her story, and that of everyone affected by this tragedy, with authenticity and respect.”
You can watch her entire interview here: