Private Project

Chernobyl: Men of Steel [Review]

The film "Chernobyl: Men of steel" tells the story of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster from the point of view of the Samosely - the indigenous inhabitants of the villages depopulated by radioactive contamination. Not agreeing with the decision of the Soviet authorities, they returned to their villages, where they live out their days.

There are only a few dozen of them left. They are dying out along with the story that the world did not want to hear so far. Among them are people who did not know what radiation was, as well as those who were directly involved in helping the first victims of a nuclear reactor explosion.

According to various estimates, there were initially between 1,600 and 3,000 of them, but only a few dozen have survived to this day. These are very elderly people, cut off from stores, running water and sometimes even electricity. Despite this, they persistently defend their land and their beliefs.

The humanitarian action to help the inhabitants of the zone, which is presented in the film, has been taking place since 2017 with a fixed line-up: Amadeusz Kocan, Krystian Machnik, Maciej Bogaczyk.

  • Amadeusz Kocan
    Director
  • Amadeusz Kocan
    Writer
  • Amadeusz Kocan
    Producer
  • Krystian Machnik
    Producer
  • Krystian Machnik
    Key Cast
    "As himself"
  • Maciej Bogaczyk
    Key Cast
    "As himself"
  • Amadeusz Kocan
    Camerawork
  • Bartosz Wabno
    Camerawork
  • Alan Bucki
    Score
  • Mirosław Utta
    Narrator
  • Amadeusz Kocan
    Editing
  • Amadeusz Kocan
    Color Grading
  • Maciej Bogaczyk
    Aerial photography
  • Bartosz Wabno
    VFX
  • Kinga Klakla
    Graphics
  • Maciej Bogaczyk
    Photo report
  • Marek Baryshevskyi
    Translator
  • XBestCinema
    Production company
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    60 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 10, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    6,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Poland
  • Country of Filming:
    Ukraine
  • Language:
    Polish, Russian, Ukrainian
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Spherical & Anamorphic
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.39:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Amadeusz Kocan


Amadeusz Kocan — Born on February 7, 1994 in Zielona Gora. Film director, screenwriter and cinematographer. Self-educated, he began his adventure as a film maker by working in television and undertaking his first feature and documentary projects. He graduated from the first level of the National Music School. Soon after gaining experience, he founded the independent film studio Green Mountain Pictures . The studio produces feature and documentary films, commercials, shorts and music videos. He is a creator of the documentary film series "The Last People of Chernobyl" and "Chernobyl: Men of Steel." He created these films between 2017 and 2023, while regularly providing humanitarian aid despite the ongoing war in Ukraine. His most important directed feature film is a drama titled "The Road to Nowhere". He has also produced a number of short films and commercials and has contributed to several independent projects.

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Director Statement

Since 2017, I have been documenting the history of Chernobyl. In creating this film, I wanted to give a voice to the people that no one wanted to listen to before, namely the Samosely - the Indigenous People of the Chernobyl Zone. Over the past few years, I have been interviewing the Samosely to learn their story, their point of view, and the consequences of their decisions. This is a film that I am very proud of. Mainly because it features people directly connected to the Chernobyl disaster. They are not fully aware of what they were participating in, and that is the most valuable thing. What is important for a historian are the testimonies of people who do not realize the importance of the small details they introduce. Such as babushka Valentina telling us why she threw the firemen's clothes into the basement of the hospital, which are still there today. Many of them, with tears in their eyes, tell us how they were thrown out of their homes, even up to several years after the disaster. With tears, because they did not know if they would be able to return to their land. Their testimonies stand in sharp contrast to the official version of the Soviet, and later Ukrainian, authorities that the evacuation of these areas was necessary. They were thrown out of the land of their fathers, despite the fact that the radiation around their homes is lower than in central New York.