Winner of the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and recipient of a national Emmy Award, DARK CIRCLE follows the trail of plutonium from the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons facility in Colorado, to the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California, to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
Years after the end of the Cold War, this compassionate and persuasive film is more relevant than ever: weapons of mass destruction are being developed in the U.S., nuclear power is re-emerging, and the capability to build atomic bombs is spreading to other countries. At once a stark compilation of personal accounts and an unyielding look at the potential devastation that nuclear power can cause, DARK CIRCLE is a classic, must-see film that is a cautionary look at the path we are on.
Weaving dramatic personal accounts with formerly classified footage, and exploring the link between nuclear power and nuclear weapons, DARK CIRCLE is the most eloquent, far ranging and convincing film on the subject to date. (The Seattle Times)
Nagasaki Journey: A powerful film about the immediate and continuing aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan; Hidden Voices: The true story of Karen Silkwood; Interview with the Filmmakers; Filmmaker Biographies
Environmental-minded documentaries are often more informative than emotionally involving. That isn't the case with Dark Circle
, winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Directed by Chris Beaver, Ruth Landy, and Judy Irving (The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
), the POV presentation explores the human cost of nuclear technology without skimping on the science. Irving, who narrates, starts by talking about her relationship to plutonium as a child. In the 1940s, the US government presented atomic power as a means to keep America safe. She thought that was the whole story. A trip to Colorado's Rocky Flats as an adult convinces her that the collateral damage is being downplayed. The filmmakers talk to residents dealing with radiation sickness, like a weapons facility worker with brain cancer, a father who lost his daughter to leukemia, and a farmer with mutated livestock. Then they travel to California's Diablo Canyon and Nagasaki, giving everyone from protestors to designers the chance to have their say. Though the trio keeps the shock tactics to a minimum, some of this material is not for the squeamish, particularly the footage of Japanese citizens injured by radiation exposure and the now-declassified "Priscilla" test of 1957 in which 700 pigs were subjected to an atomic blast (Scientists learned that porcine skin is sturdier than human, but hardly indestructible). Extras include Nagasaki Journey
and Hidden Voices: The Final Hours of Karen Silkwood
. The entire package aims to provoke--and succeeds. --Kathleen C. Fennessy