Chernobyl Heart (2003)Watch all of it now
For those who binge-watched the acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl (also streaming on Showmax), which is a dramatisation of the lead up to and the immediate impact of the 1986 nuclear accident, this short documentary is a good companion title, giving a real-life look at the devastating health consequences for the children born after the disaster.
“Chernobyl Heart” refers to a condition where babies develop a hole in their hearts. In the movie, filmmaker Maryann DeLeo and Adi Roche, the Irish founder of the organisation Chernobyl Children’s Project International, travel to towns in Belarus and Ukraine, studying the long-term health effects (from Chernobyl Heart to radiation poisoning) on children in the areas close to the former nuclear power plant.
Chernobyl Heart won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. It’s a gruelling watch, but Vulture praises it as “first-rate television”.