The Sacrifice| 23mins
Director: Emanuela Andreoli & Wladimir Tchertkoff | Producer: Feldat Film
Focus Years: 2003 | Country: Switzerland
On the night of 26 April 1986 and during the months which followed, one million men, called liquidators, were sent to the flaming nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, to cover it with a sarcophagus improvised under terrifying radioactive conditions, and to cancel the consequences of the catastrophe in all the territories. They fought radionuclides with bare hands, with shovels and water jets. Tens of thousands died and continue to die. If the Chernobyl blaze was not brought under control by the 8th of May, the fusion of nuclear fuel would have perforated the underlying cement sheet, falling on the cooling basin and triggering an atomic explosion twenty to fifty times more powerful than Hiroshima. Europe would have become inhabitable. On the 6th of May the blaze was tamed thanks to the extreme sacrifice of the liquidators. But they were poorly repaid: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus abandoned them, while the West ignores them.