Reaching the halfway point in 2013’s Documentary Premieres: Robert Stone’s PANDORA’S PROMISE, a radical re-examination of nuclear energy.
Sundance Program Description:
The atomic bomb, the specter of a global nuclear holocaust, and disasters like Fukushima have made nuclear energy synonymous with the darkest nightmares of the modern world. But what if everyone has nuclear power wrong? What if people knew that there are reactors that are self-sustaining and fully controllable and ones that require no waste disposal? What if nuclear power is the only energy source that has the ability to stop climate change?
Prolific documentarian Robert Stone and environmentalists, scientists, and energy experts share the reasons why they have changed their minds from being fiercely anti– to strongly pro–nuclear energy. The film directly attacks popularly held reasons to oppose nuclear energy, including fear of another disaster like Chernobyl, the problem of waste, and the weakness of clean alternatives like wind and solar energy. Whatever your stance, Stone’s compelling film opens Pandora’s box and promises to change the conversation for years to come. With the world’s unquenchable thirst for energy and its resulting threat to our environment, the stakes may be nothing less than the survival of the planet.
Stone is a Sundance veteran, several times over, as the director of EARTH DAYS (2009), GUERRILLA: THE TAKING OF PATTY HEARST (2004), and the Oscar-nominated RADIO BIKINI (1998), and as the cinematographer for THEREMIN: AN ELECTRONIC ODYSSEY (1994). Joining him as producers are Jim Swartz and Susan Swartz, executive producers of Sundance alums SECRETS OF THE TRIBE (2010), SERGIO (2009) and CHILDREN OF INVENTION (2009). Executive producers include Impact Partners’ Dan Cogan, Gavin Dougan, and Diana Lady Dougan, among others.
Why You Should Watch:
Sure to be controversial, the film presents a fascinating and unexpected upending of commonly held beliefs about nuclear power that could certainly sway public opinion about alternative energy. Beyond the convincing arguments and data put forth by former anti-nuclear activists, Stone himself is a celebrated filmmaker whose previous works have addressed the apparent dangers of nuclear power and explored other environmental themes, so the project reflects the views of individuals who have clearly given the topic careful consideration.