Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, July 8: INDIAN POINT
Ivy Meeropol’s consideration of nuclear power plant safety bowed at Tribeca last year. The doc went on to screen at Hot Docs, DC Environmental, Traverse City, Rio, Hamptons, St Louis, Big Sky, Thessaloniki Doc, Salem, and Cleveland.
Long the subject of controversy, New York state’s Indian Point nuclear power plant has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Meeropol presents an extended look at the plant – located in Buchanan, NY, just 35 miles from densely populated New York City – and arguments for and against its continued existence. The film offers a strong mix of subjects, including environmental journalist Roger Witherspoon and his wife, Marilyn Elie, an activist; ousted US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair Gregory Jaczko, and Brian Vangor, a 35-year veteran employee of the plant. Meeropol’s film is strongest when it’s focused on the Buchanan plant and those subjects who are most closely tied to specific questions of its safety. With the shadow of Fukushima looming over the project, however, the director seems compelled to spend an inordinate amount of time referencing that disaster without adequately delineating how similar or dissimilar Indian Point is from the Japanese plant, ultimately coming off as alarmist in contrast to a more thoughtful, evenhanded approach earlier in the film.