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Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,692|4718|eXtreme to the maX
Well, Germany does get a lot of tsunamis.
Epstein didn't kill himself
Larssen
Member
+23|500
I know, which is why I wrote what I wrote. Some of those headlines (the third one...) are journalists looking for sensationalism though. On the whole and comparing it to any other historical drama, Chernobyl does a stellar job. It gets many of the important things right. In terms of events the only things that bothered me a bit was the heli crash in the show & in reality and the closing mock trial. That's where I think they went too far with their artistic liberty. But, again, I've rarely seen a popular big production like this be as faithful to source material & context.

uziq wrote:

the show was dishonest and problematic. all the stuff about the party apparatus and Bad Evil Communism was face-slappingly stupid and on the nose. the attention to detail and re-enactment stuff was very well done, but the ‘message’ and fake dramatic foils (female scientist saves the day against wrongheaded male ‘experts’) etc were hammy as fuck.

merkel pretty much was an idiot to close down all the nuclear reactors after fukushima.
I'll agree with it being on the nose, but considering a lot of the outrageous things the local & moscow governments decided to do with regard to the event it would be hard not to be at times (the secrecy, cutting phone lines, refusing evacuation etc.). The old man's speech in the local council comes to mind as 'too much'. I can't say I found the inclusion of the female scientist a terrible choice also considering their disclaimer in the finale. Importantly, this series was a far cry from how Russians and Russian society have been portrayed in western productions in the past, it's a definite step in the right direction.

As for Merkel, I'm not so certain anymore. Regardless of the design of nuclear plants there will always be two unknown factors we can prepare for to an extent but not control, being humans and the environment. It could be that one freak natural disaster, human fallibility, intentional sabotage, war - the odds perhaps infinitesmall but probabilities certainly there. Given fissile material and water it only takes one disaster to instantly impact & threaten the lives of tens of millions of people and to make an area literally uninhabitable for generations. Not to mention the beyond agonising, slow deaths of people exposed to lethal doses of radiation and the stress/trauma endured by those responsible for the containment & clean up.

Apart from the above, when it comes to the nuclear debate people seem to see a binary option where we'll either die by global warming or live happily with nuclear energy. Reality doesn't align with that view. Likely we'd still be impacted by global warming while also upping the likelihood of a catastrophic event which future generations (or ours, with some bad luck) would have to deal with.

Last edited by Larssen (2019-06-16 14:01:49)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,804|5384|USA

Why does Chernobyl get a pass on lying about and exaggerating details, but it's the journalists who point these things out who are being all sensationalistic.
Larssen
Member
+23|500
I had read the interview with that particular engineer earlier this week and he was nuanced in his critique, also pointing out the things he liked about the show. The editor decided to go with that all caps headline, that's sensationalism. I expect integrity from journalists.

I do not expect total historical accuracy from a historical drama produced by an entertainment channel. 100% accuracy is also pretty much impossible especially given the medium, even in actual purported history documentaries. One example I can give you is the amount of salty historians who took issue with Ken Burns' 'The Vietnam War'. It's one of the most exhaustively researched documentaries you'll ever see but doesn't cut it.

Last edited by Larssen (2019-06-16 14:31:34)

SuperJail Warden
Member
+340|2332
Who is Ken Burns and why do people quote his documentaries at people?
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,804|5384|USA

Allcaps title: sensationalist! *faints*
Lying for dramatic effect: artistic license. *thumbs up*

"All you historians and history buffs are just being salty. Who cares if events are distorted or completely fabricated."

I guess it was more important to get the shoelaces right, or whatever.
DesertFox-
The very model of a modern major general
+736|5297|United States of America
A guy who makes good documentaries, and because they're good documentaries. The Civil War was probably his first big one.

As far as Chernobyl, I was under no illusions that I was largely watching a work of fiction from the very start, having done some reading beforehand. The moment that struck me as too much was the grandiose courtroom indictment of the system. I liked that it was covering a historical event that most people know very little about. The flurry of "well, ahhkshully....." articles as it became popular were frequently nitpicking minor flaws, though there were some notable changes in facts. Hopefully, people who are now interested will do more reading and straighten that out, because that's almost always the case with historical pieces.

Last edited by DesertFox- (2019-06-16 15:56:56)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,692|4718|eXtreme to the maX

Larssen wrote:

I had read the interview with that particular engineer earlier this week and he was nuanced in his critique, also pointing out the things he liked about the show. The editor decided to go with that all caps headline, that's sensationalism. I expect integrity from journalists.

I do not expect total historical accuracy from a historical drama produced by an entertainment channel. 100% accuracy is also pretty much impossible especially given the medium, even in actual purported history documentaries. One example I can give you is the amount of salty historians who took issue with Ken Burns' 'The Vietnam War'. It's one of the most exhaustively researched documentaries you'll ever see but doesn't cut it.
So you get your information from TV entertainment channels? And TV trumps actual history? And you expect integrity from journalists but not TV?
This explains a lot.

100% accuracy is perfectly possible, what is difficult about this?

Entertainment channels rewriting history for better entertainment is dangerous.
Morons lap it up and take it as fact, then there's no going back.
Epstein didn't kill himself
coke
Aye up duck!
+440|5321|England. Stoke
Burns's Vietnam was pretty good and covered most of bases, well researched etc. but did the whole "lets show stuff out of order and then reference back/forward?, too much"

Last edited by coke (2019-06-16 17:15:25)

SuperJail Warden
Member
+340|2332
It's as if T.V. isn't the best way to absorb knowledge.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,692|4718|eXtreme to the maX
Averages 1-2 factoids per hour in my experience of watching TV
Epstein didn't kill himself
Larssen
Member
+23|500

Dilbert_X wrote:

So you get your information from TV entertainment channels? And TV trumps actual history? And you expect integrity from journalists but not TV?

This explains a lot.

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

Allcaps title: sensationalist! *faints*
Lying for dramatic effect: artistic license. *thumbs up*

"All you historians and history buffs are just being salty. Who cares if events are distorted or completely fabricated."
Both of you need to learn to read.

Dilbert_X wrote:

100% accuracy is perfectly possible, what is difficult about this?

Entertainment channels rewriting history for better entertainment is dangerous.
Morons lap it up and take it as fact, then there's no going back.
If '100% historical accuracy' were possible history as an academic discipline wouldn't need to exist.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,804|5384|USA

Give me a break. Boiled down, it seems to me you've been fairly dismissive of Chernobyl blatantly inventing fake human beings and misrepresenting actual ones and events, in a docudrama about an event that occurred in many people's living memory. The gist being that it's somehow alright because it got some stuff right. And also, "hey guys, look at all the 'sensational, 'well ahhkshully' articles,' and 'salty historians' nitpicking minor things. They're the real insidious nasties!"

"I defer to the less dramatic version of things,” Mazin said, adding, “you don’t want to cross a line into the sensational."

In truth, “Chernobyl” runs across the line into sensational in the first episode and never looks back.

[…]

HBO tries to clean-up some of the sensationalism with captions at the very end of the series. None note that claiming a baby died by “absorbing” radiation from its father is total and utter pseudoscience.

[…]

There is a human cost to these misrepresentations. The notion that people exposed to radiation are contagious was used to terrify, stigmatize, and isolate people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, Chernobyl, and again in Fukushima.

Why HBO's "Chernobyl" Gets Nuclear So Wrong
Not fanning the flames of anti-nuclear hysteria at all, we humble filmmakers we.

Mixing in a bit of truth with your lies sets the foundation for quality propaganda. It's completely dishonest. But "whoah, whoah, whoah, hold up! Look at that article a few posts back with an allcaps title. Tsk, tsk."

/s/s/s
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,692|4718|eXtreme to the maX

Larssen wrote:

If '100% historical accuracy' were possible history as an academic discipline wouldn't need to exist.
You can get a lot closer if you don't invent people who didn't exist, create events which never happened and change facts which you know to be true.
Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
Member
+278|2064
the best account of chernobyl i have read is the book by alexievich (she is dependably excellent).

100% accuracy is impossible from an epistemological and historiographical point of view, sure. but there’s a big difference between that and just fabricating things to make compelling television. and the portrayal of ‘soviet thinking’ was borderline propaganda and insulting. communist ideology did not descend upon people’s judgment like a fog of dementia.
uziq
Member
+278|2064
the best account of chernobyl i have read is the book by alexievich (she is dependably excellent).

100% accuracy is impossible from an epistemological and historiographical point of view, sure. but there’s a big difference between that and just fabricating things to make compelling television. and the portrayal of ‘soviet thinking’ was borderline propaganda and insulting. communist ideology did not descend upon people’s judgment like a fog of dementia.
SuperJail Warden
Member
+340|2332
I am watching the Hamilton play in my class. I have no idea what is going on. Just a bunch of singing, dancing, and rap.
Larssen
Member
+23|500

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

Give me a break. Boiled down, it seems to me you've been fairly dismissive of Chernobyl blatantly inventing fake human beings and misrepresenting actual ones and events, in a docudrama about an event that occurred in many people's living memory. The gist being that it's somehow alright because it got some stuff right. And also, "hey guys, look at all the 'sensational, 'well ahhkshully' articles,' and 'salty historians' nitpicking minor things. They're the real insidious nasties!"
You're conflating things. Salty historians was in reference to The Vietnam War. In which I do think they were salty because most of the critique I read and heard amounted to little more than 'the writer/director devoted insufficient time (or did not devote any) to X subject / was too american-military centric, which (unduly) changes the context and interpretation of the depicted events'. It's the easiest, laziest form of criticism. In the writing process about anything in history you are forced to make choices in terms of narrative structure & methodology (also theory) inevitably resulting in omissions and the creation of a particular historical perspective. After establishing this beyond obvious fact the floodgates are opened for endless arguments against these choices.

I would have preferred an enthusiastic reception especially from historians instead of the academic gatekeeping they ended up doing. The documentary was an excellent gateway for the general public to learn more about this significant time in history. They should embrace these type of projects because ivory tower debates certainly aren't the way through which historical analysis, education & discussion are brought to the people. In the vast majority of cases nobody but historians care about what other historians write, while millions watched The Vietnam War. My advice would be to receive it constructively and build upon that foundation instead of being dismissive about what was a masterfully crafted series.

Now, onto Chernobyl. Published by HBO. A profit-driven network which produces art & entertainment for popular consumption. Underlining the art & entertainment part, which requires creative freedom. While watching it, it was obvious they weren't trying to provide a totally authentic historical narrative of events, but to tell a story - a dramatisation. One about the trauma of the event, the people involved, their emotions, motivations, failures and triumphs. In doing so, it is my opinion that they managed to stay remarkably close to a truthful depiction of what happened, also taking into account that they had to creatively construct a script for many meetings and face to face conversations of which we have no historical record whatsoever. I'm fine with the inclusion of the female scientist to represent the scientific community for their narrative purpose & probably to appeal a wider audience. I'm fine with the depiction of Dyatlov, Fomin & co in the context of the story. It may not have been perfect, but we easily underestimate the difficulty of portraying multidimensional, complicated real people within the constraints of the chosen narrative, medium, time and budget. No less by 'amateur historians'.

They did a great job. The deviations mostly minor and understandable considering their goals, ultimately providing authentic insight into the mood & human dimension. But if you look to a dramatisation for your historical education I'm afraid to say the problem is you. You're acting like an edgy teenager who just now found out that movies set in history =/= historical reality. In that genre especially, Chernobyl sits far above most other productions. I hope many take it for what it is and refer to actual documentaries & books/articles for their further interest in the event.

Last edited by Larssen (2019-06-17 10:16:49)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,804|5384|USA

All they had to do was not invent new people and events, not lie about existing people and events within living memory, and not champion legitimately harmful pseudoscience. But it's people pointing these things out, these "sensationalistic academic gatekeepers in ivory towers," who are out of line for not showering it with an "enthusiastic reception?"

Thanks for the essay on HBO being a for profit outfit, by the way. Also, I never knew that some movies were inspired by real events. Definitely learning new things today. Like how you apparently can't establish mood and the human element without lying through your teeth.

I, the "edgy teen," am supposed to learn how to read, but you needed this HBO schlock to unlock some higher understanding of Chernobyl. Fantastic.
Larssen
Member
+23|500

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

All they had to do was not invent new people and events, not lie about existing people and events within living memory, and not champion legitimately harmful pseudoscience.
Everyone understands that the baby didn't factually 'absorb the radiation from the father'. It's the tragic reasoning on the part of the mother to rationalise her own survival. It's not some medical theory for god's sake, nor is it presented as such.

So if they had kept the events exactly as is, didn't include the character of Lyudmilla and not 'lie' (???) about some people featured in the series, it would live up to your subjective and arbitrary definition of 'historical accuracy'?

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

But it's people pointing these things out, these "sensationalistic academic gatekeepers in ivory towers," who are out of line for not showering it with an "enthusiastic reception?"
It's like you read parts of my 'essay' and instantly forget what it was about. I appreciate your attachment to my prose though.

As for the last sentence of your post: yes, yes and yes.

Last edited by Larssen (2019-06-17 13:29:44)

Jay
Bork! Bork! Bork!
+2,002|3970|London, England

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

All they had to do was not invent new people and events, not lie about existing people and events within living memory, and not champion legitimately harmful pseudoscience. But it's people pointing these things out, these "sensationalistic academic gatekeepers in ivory towers," who are out of line for not showering it with an "enthusiastic reception?"

Thanks for the essay on HBO being a for profit outfit, by the way. Also, I never knew that some movies were inspired by real events. Definitely learning new things today. Like how you apparently can't establish mood and the human element without lying through your teeth.

I, the "edgy teen," am supposed to learn how to read, but you needed this HBO schlock to unlock some higher understanding of Chernobyl. Fantastic.
You are an impossibly difficult person to please. It's entertainment, stop being so obsessive compulsive about every little detail.
"Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough."
-Frederick Bastiat
DesertFox-
The very model of a modern major general
+736|5297|United States of America

Jay wrote:

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

All they had to do was not invent new people and events, not lie about existing people and events within living memory, and not champion legitimately harmful pseudoscience. But it's people pointing these things out, these "sensationalistic academic gatekeepers in ivory towers," who are out of line for not showering it with an "enthusiastic reception?"

Thanks for the essay on HBO being a for profit outfit, by the way. Also, I never knew that some movies were inspired by real events. Definitely learning new things today. Like how you apparently can't establish mood and the human element without lying through your teeth.

I, the "edgy teen," am supposed to learn how to read, but you needed this HBO schlock to unlock some higher understanding of Chernobyl. Fantastic.
You are an impossibly difficult person to please. It's entertainment, stop being so obsessive compulsive about every little detail.
I am surprised by his reaction, as well. It'd be hard to enjoy Glory, Apollo 13, Lincoln, and the like if a disqualifying characteristic is compression of time or people.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,692|4718|eXtreme to the maX
The problem is pseudo-facts influence people's opinion.

For example:

I thought I knew and understood the history of the Chernobyl disaster until I watched the new HBO drama series ....

Honestly it's also made me reconsider support for nuclear energy production.
If its OK to use 'alternative facts' to influence people then fine, otherwise don't complain about Fox News or MSNBC and their information manipulation in future.
Epstein didn't kill himself
DesertFox-
The very model of a modern major general
+736|5297|United States of America
I mean, it's a historical drama, not a documentary with an anti-nuclear power argument. I don't doubt people have been influenced by it, but the invention of Khomyuk as a character seems to me a fairly harmless change.

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