The Chernobyl scene everyone forgot when checking HBO vs Reality

There are many “HBO Vs Reality” videos and posts on the internet after the hit HBO series, however there is one scene that the people making these articles and videos never spotted – because unless you are familiar with Pripyat you would never notice it.

Towards the end of episode 4 “The Happiness of All Mankind”, Ulana Khomyuk (Emily Watson), Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgård) and Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) meet inside an abandoned building in Pripyat making an effort to speak freely, away from anywhere that the KGB could see or hear them.

Shcherbina and Legasov inform Khomyuk they have been instructed to testify as experts in the trial of Dyatlov, Bryukhanov, and Fomin, and that Legasov will address the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Khomyuk reveals an article about an identical incident at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant in 1975, suppressed and censored by the KGB, and tells them Lyudmilla gave birth to a girl who soon died from radiation poisoning. Khomyuk urges Legasov to tell the IAEA the complete truth, while Shcherbina urges caution to avoid government retaliation.

Whilst this scene was not filmed in Pripyat, the crew went to great effort (as they did in the rest of the series) to pay attention to every small detail. Whilst it must be remembered this series was a drama and not a documentary – for a drama the accuracy in this production is simply astonishing.

In the background of the scene, there is a mural on the wall – this mural is in a classroom of Pripyat School 1, and has been recreated with remarkable attention to detail in the series. A little more decayed than the real one, but still amazing that that such an effort was made to find an authentic looking location and even take the time and make the effort to give an easter egg for people to discover.

“If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.”

Craig Mazin, Director of Chernobyl HBO

The location of this mural is interesting – School 1 is regarded as one of the most dangerous buildings in Pripyat. As you can see from the photo, parts of this school have already collapsed, and yet this beautiful mural is painted on a wall in a classroom, that is in a part of the school that is totally inaccessible – because of the collapse, there are no stairs or other route into this room to get a better photo.

Above you can see Craig Mazin, the director of the series, expressing his opinions on some of the selfies and other images being shown of Chernobyl.

The Pripyat example of this mural is interesting, it is a close link to the real, current, decaying Pripyat, but being in a location where it is impossible to take a selfie or turn it into a tourist attraction means that the mural is protected and will decay naturally.

Is it just a huge coincidence that they were filming in a building that just happened to have an almost identical mural to one in Pripyat, or do you think this was a recreation and done deliberately?

The rest of the HBO Vs Reality slideshow is below;

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