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Dark Circle (1983)

Judy Irving , Chris Beaver  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Dark Circle + Making a Real Killing: Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West + An Insider's View of Rocky Flats: Urban Myths Debunked
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Product Details

  • Directors: Judy Irving, Chris Beaver, Ruth Landy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KJU1IW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,977 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dark Circle" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus film: Nagasaki Journey, about the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
  • Bonus film: Hidden Voices, the true story of Karen Silkwood
  • Interview with the filmmakers
  • Filmmaker biographies

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Description

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)

Special Features:

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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DARK CIRCLE in the Winners' Circle November 12, 2010
I had the honor and privilege of helping Chris Beaver with the NY premiere of DARK CIRCLE back in the day. I have never ever been so affected by a documentary as I have with DARK CIRCLE. Aside from the meticulaously researched and detailed scientific information made available in the film, the presentation is one that cannot be argued with. And even though it was done in the days of the anti-Nuke movement (where has that movement gone, btw?), I have watched it every year since, and it is frightening how relevant it is today - still. This is a film that must not be missed, must be discussed and watched over and over. The style of the docurama, as Amazon calls it, is riveting. Judy's narration is to the point and non-dramatic which makes it all the more moving, the interviews are dramatic AND true stories from everyday people, and YES! with the current administration's pro-nuke attitude, if you don't see this film, you will be left in - the dark circle. SEE IT NOW.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film will haunt your days and nights, it is a deep inside look at the U.S. nuclear weapons program, its cost in financial and human terms, and security or lack of it is at times frightening.

Produced by a highly talented team originally aired for POV on PBS, now hard to find, but definitely worth a watch for scientists, historians, and anyone interested in the MADness of mutually assured destruction.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film December 15, 2008
This is a great film. I saw it years ago on television and was very moved by it. Years later, I saw "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill," by the same director (Judy Irving). Another excellent film. I'm glad "Dark Circle" is now available on DVD. It's a classic. Informative yet emotionally wrenching.
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