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Nuclear Issues (Weekly Hot Titles)
By Richard Breyer & Anand Kamalakar
Garwin is the first film to profile renowned physicist and inventor Richard Garwin, who helped shape history as designer of the first hydrogen bomb and later as a top science adviser on nuclear arms control and other issues.
In verite style, the documentary delves into the rich and controversial life and career of 85 year-old Garwin, offering personal insights into his thinking and actions. The film follows backpack-toting Garwin as he revisits the Los Alamos National Laboratory, attends a conference in Europe, travels to the White House, and meets with politicians, other scientists, and historians.
Garwin received his Ph.D. under Nobel Laureate Enrico Fermi, who later invited him to work at Los Alamos on the nation's nuclear weapons program. Fermi called Garwin "the only true genius he ever met". Garwin authored the final design used for the hydrogen bomb at age 23, assigned to the task by Edward Teller.
He later worked for IBM at its research center, while also serving as top science adviser to every president from Eisenhower to Obama on nuclear policy and many other technical issues. In recent years he was part of an elite group of scientists asked to help plug the BP oil spill and find solutions to contain the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. His work was honored with the National Medal of Science.
While exploring Garwin's life and work, the film offers a rare look into the world of science and policy, notably the role of scientists like Garwin who regularly advise our leaders on solutions to the most critical issues of our time, from nuclear proliferation and disarmament, to climate change and energy.
"Garwin is arguably the most important individual defense consultant of the past half-century. The film clips certainly put us in mind of the dramatic national events in which Garwin was an active participant-supplying a steady supply of calm and informed advice to presidents from Eisenhower onward-and not just as a passive witness." - Physics Today
"A unique film, showing science as it really is, not a high-faluting speculation but a construction project, constantly struggling to get the details right, Garwin's passion is technical accuracy. His mission is to use technical facts to demolish political illusions. The film shows how one guy with a backpack can beat an army of bureaucrats with brief cases, if the guy's name happens to be Garwin." - Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton; Enrico Fermi Award honoree
Winner, Accolade Competition
DVD (Region 1, Closed Captioned) / 2014 / (High School - Adult) / 67 minutes
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By Kimberley Hawryluk & Adam Schomer
The Polygon reveals the untold legacy of the Soviet Union's extensive Cold War nuclear testing program at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan. Over 600 nuclear bombs were detonated at the formerly secret site, known as "The Polygon", from 1949 to 1991, including 116 above ground explosions.
The massive mushroom clouds were witnessed by hundreds of thousands of nearby unprotected Kazakh villagers, unaware that nuclear fallout was raining down on them, their land and water.
More than 18,000 square kilometers remain heavily contaminated. The radiation silently devastated three generations who have suffered serious health problems, including thyroid disease, cancer, birth defects, and more. Life expectancy in the region is seven years less than the national average in Kazakhstan.
The full impact of radiation exposure was hidden by Soviet authorities, and only came to light after the test site was closed in 1991 after major protests.
The tragic story is told in part by the villagers themselves, including Bolat Baltabek, a teacher and town leader, who lost his sister, brother, son, and countless neighbors to radiation-related diseases.
Shot over 3 years, The Polygon revisits the history of these tragic Cold War experiments, and profiles the unfortunate victims that remain today, still suffering with little or no compensation, or global recognition of their plight.
DVD (Region 1, Closed Captioned) / 2014 / (Grades 11- Adult) / 55 minutes
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By Don Argott & Sheena Joyce
In 2010, the United States approved the first new nuclear power plant in 32 years, heralding a "Nuclear Renaissance". But that was before the Fukushima accident in Japan renewed a fierce public debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power.
The Atomic States of America journeys to nuclear reactor communities around the country to provide a comprehensive exploration of the history and impact to date of nuclear power, and to investigate the truths and myths about nuclear energy.
From the gates of Three Mile Island, to the cooling ponds of Braidwood, IL, the film introduces people who have been on the front lines of this issue for decades: community advocates, investigative journalists, renowned physicists, nuclear engineers, Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors, and former government leaders.
Based in part on Kelly McMaster's book "Welcome to Shirley", about growing up in the shadow of the Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island, the film explores the evidence for serious health consequences documented by people living in Shirley, as well as near other nuclear facilities. Their concerns call into question who can be trusted to provide truthful information, and how much influence the nuclear industry has over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its decisions.
As the nation stands at the crossroads of a possible Nuclear Renaissance, The Atomic States of America inspires informed discussion on the safety, viability and future of nuclear power in the United States.
"In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, The Atomic States of America casts a timely inquiry into the viability of nuclear energy." - Outside Magazine
"A stimulating, well-made piece. A sobering documentary about the dangers of nuclear reactors and a downsized Nuclear Regulatory Commission." - Hollywood Reporter
"Reasoned and worth engaging...The film builds a convincing statistical case about cancer and nukes." - Variety
AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Film Cinema Planeta International Festival, Mexico
JURY PRIZE, Best Feature Documentary, Paris/FIFE International Festival of Environmental Films
JURY PRIZE, Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival
DVD (Region 1, Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 9-Adult) / 160 minutes
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Director: Atsushi Funahashi
This documentary sensitively but penetratingly chronicles the aftermath of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant reactor meltdown following the devastating impact of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
"Cuts to the heart of the matter...drive[s] home not only their hardship and fortitude, but the alarming implications of corporate/governmental indifference and ineptitude vis-a-vis Japan's nuclear policies." - Variety
DVD-R (Japanese with English Subtitles) / 2012 / 96 minutes
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By Adam Horowitz
"John is a savage, but a happy, amenable savage." - 1950's newsreel footage of Marshall Islanders
Featuring recently declassified U.S. government documents, survivor testimony, and unseen archival footage, Nuclear Savage uncovers one of the most troubling chapters in modern American history: how Marshall islanders, considered an uncivilized culture, were deliberately used as human guinea pigs to study the effects of nuclear fallout on human beings.
Between 1946 and 1958 the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons above ground on or near Bikini and Enewetok atolls. One hydrogen bomb was 1000 times larger than the Hiroshima bomb. Entire islands were vaporized and populated islands were blanketed with fallout. As the film shows, the heavily exposed people of Rongelap were then enrolled as human subjects in the top-secret Project 4.1 and evacuated to a severely contaminated island to study the effects of eating radioactive food for nearly 30 years. Many of the Marshall Islanders developed cancers and had babies that were stillborn or with serious birth defects.
Nuclear Savage follows the islanders today as they continue to fight for justice and acknowledgement of what was done to them. Despite recent disclosures, the U.S. government continues to deny that the islanders were deliberately used as human guinea pigs. The film raises disturbing questions about racism, the U.S. government's moral obligation to the people of the Marshall Islands, and why the government is continuing to cover up the intent of the tests and Project 4.1 after several decades.
"A poignant, provocative, and deeply troubling look at the lingering and lasting effects of nuclear disaster and the human consequences of US government efforts to define, contain, and control public awareness and concern." - Counterpunch
"One of the most disturbing documentaries I have ever seen. Opens up one of the hidden horrors of American history. The film does a stunning job juxtaposing examples of our smug ignorance of South Sea culture with the reality of what we did to it." - Robert Koehler, Chicago Tribune
"The term 'savage' is used to refer to people from primitive cultures, but this documentary shows how savagery reaches new levels with the advent of advanced technology. ...Without incredible archival footage and shocking secret documents, the story would seem unbelievable." - Film Society, Lincoln Center
DVD (Region 1, Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 147 minutes
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By Robert E. Frye
In one lifetime a nuclear-armed world emerged, and with it the potential for global destruction on a scale never before possible. Is it also possible that in a single lifetime nuclear weapons could be abolished?
In My Lifetime provides a comprehensive look at the full scope and impact of the nuclear age from its beginnings to the present day, including the international efforts by citizens, scientists and political leaders to reduce or eliminate the nuclear threat.
Through archival footage and contemporary interviews, In My Lifetime portrays the history of the nuclear era and the complex search for "a way beyond". Filmed in Europe, Japan and the U.S., the movie features international voices from many perspectives and different parts of the history. Manhattan Project scientists, former military personnel, and survivors of the first atomic bombs remind us how the nuclear age began -- and what we seek to avoid from happening ever again. Central participants and historians recount the major developments that followed: the U.S. - Soviet Cold War, above-ground nuclear testing, the Cuban missile crisis, the historic summits between Reagan and Gorbachev, the spread of nuclear weapons, and nonproliferation efforts.
Through this history, the film attempts to uncover the forces that brought us to the present number of nuclear-armed countries, and the obstacles - both political and human - that have blocked the world from reaching the solution all ultimately desire. An inside view of the debates at a recent UN Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference is especially revealing, clearly showing how difficult it is for the world to move beyond the nuclear status quo.
In My Lifetime challenges viewers to learn from this history and find a way to accomplish what might seem like the impossible, because it is an absolute necessity.
"One of the best documentaries of the nuclear age I have ever seen". - Avner Cohen, Senior Fellow, James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies, The Monterey Institute for Int'l Studies
"A powerful and persuasive film. Beautifully done. Shows the effects of nuclear weapons and the consequences on both the commonweal and on individual conscience. (The) film is haunting compelling and I marvel at its mastery of the subject and its personal attraction." - William Lanouette, Author, Genius in the Shadows (a biography of Leo Szilard)
"A chilling birds eye survey of the history of nuclear weapons, displaying iconic and terrifying stills and footage from Hiroshima and after." - Film Columbia
DVD (Region 1, Closed Captioned) / 2011 / (Grades 9 - Adult) / 109 minutes
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Directed by Michael Madsen
The world's nuclear power plants have generated an estimated 300,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste that must be safely stored for 100,000 years or more. Every year, they generate another 12,000 metric tons of high-level waste.
Into Eternity is the first feature documentary to explore the mind-boggling scientific and philosophical questions long-term nuclear waste storage poses.
Structured as a message to future generations, the film focuses on the Onkalo waste repository now under construction in Finland, one of the first underground storage facilities. Onkalo is a gigantic network of tunnels being carved out of bedrock that will start receiving Finland's nuclear waste in 2020. Once the repository is full, in about 100 years, it will be closed and hopefully remain sealed for at least 100,000 years.
Into Eternity takes viewers deep into the Onkalo facility as it is being constructed and asks Onkalo representatives, scientists, theologians and others to address fundamental but challenging questions.
How can our civilization know what the world will be like in 100,000 years? The first modern homo sapiens appeared about that long ago and no human structure has survived more than 5000 years. How can we anticipate climate and geologic changes that far in the future? What will life on our planet be like then? How do we warn distant generations of the deadly waste our civilization left behind? What languages or signs will they understand? How do we prevent them from thinking they have located the pyramids of our time or some other treasures?
With its stark, stylistic approach, Into Eternity not only raises questions about the possibility of long-term nuclear waste storage, but also invites reflection on the limits of science and human knowledge, along with our responsibility to future generations.
"CRITICS' PICK. I am tempted to call Into Eternity the most interesting documentary, and one of the most disturbing films, of the year so far... the way the movie and the people in it express their concern gives it a feeling of sublimity unusual in most environmentalist documentaries." - A.O. Scott, New York Times, Read Full Article Here
"It might seem crazy, if not criminal, to obligate 3,000 future generations of humans to take care of our poisonous waste just so that we can continue running our electric toothbrushes. But it's already too late to wave off the nuclear age, and Mr. Madsen's film comes at a perfect time to join a worldwide conversation about what to do with its ashes." - Dennis Overbye, Science Reporter, New York Times, Read Full Article Here
"Excellent. The haunting Into Eternity ...is a rare hybrid: an information-packed documentary crossed with an existential art film. In a deceptively low-key manner, Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen has beautifully crafted one of the most provocative movies of the year." - San Francisco Chronicle
Grand Prize, Paris Int'l Environmental Film Festival (FIFE)
Grand Prize, Vision Du Reel - Nyon
Green Screen Award, IDFA, Amsterdam
Audience Award, CPH:DOX - Copenhagen
Reel Talent Award for Michael Madsen - CPH:DOX
DVD (Region 1, Closed Captioned) / 2011 / (Grades 9 - Adult) / 133 minutes
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A moving and complex essay on a unique landscape of the American West, the area around the Hanford Site in Washington State.
Arid Lands is a documentary feature about the land and people of the Columbia Basin in southeastern Washington state. Sixty years ago, the Hanford nuclear site produced plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, and today the area is the focus of the largest environmental cleanup in history. It is a landscape of incredible contradictions: coyotes roam among decommissioned nuclear reactors, salmon spawn in the middle of golf courses, wine grapes grow in the sagebrush, and federal cleanup dollars spur rapid urban expansion.
Arid Lands takes us into a world of sports fishermen, tattoo artists, housing developers, ecologists, and radiation scientists living and working in the area. It tells the story of how people changed the landscape over time, and how the landscape affected their lives. Marked by conflicting perceptions of wilderness and nature, Arid Lands is a moving and complex essay on a unique landscape of the American West.
"Exquisitely filmed and carefully crafted...The multiple perspectives showcased in the film highlight debates and issues that go far beyond the local environs-land development vs. ecology; science vs. real-world experience; and how to determine `acceptable risk.' Minimal narration allows viewers to weigh the various economic, ecological, cultural and political vectors of the problems facing the Hanford area and reach their own conclusions, making this film an excellent launching point for classroom debates." - Melissa Checker, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, City University of New York, Queens College
"Arid Lands is an engaging and thought-provoking film about shifting human adaptations and transformations of a particular landscape, and the incongruous absurdities sometimes generated in the process...[The film] provides a compelling springboard for discussion of some of the most important issues defining our times." - Dr. Lene Pedersen, Dept. of Anthropology and Museum, Central Washington University
"Arid Lands does not offer easy answers. Is it truly safe? What does it mean if a town is desensitized to nuclear waste? When will the federal money run out? Will tourism be the answer to economic development and at what cost? The film presents a richly textured view on a community that battles nuclear waste, wrestles with development, and worries about the water. Arid Lands does what most sociology professors want to teach: the ultimate sociological paradox of examining how societal influences shape individuals and, at the same time, how individuals shape the outcome of community, institutions, and society." - Dr. Marisol Clark- Ibanez, Assistant. Professor of Sociology, California State University- San Marcos
"An insightful look into...the concerns of the people who work and develop the land...An excellent job of showing how the choices made now will not only influence future lives, but, more important, the viability of a fragile landscape that the people cannot help but depend upon." - City Pages
"A love song for the ailing, if resilient, expanse of sagebrush and bunch grass that still thrives on the Hanford nuclear site...a comprehensive and, at times, profound and entertaining narrative." - Minnesota Daily
"In this age of golf courses in the desert, this honest look at the state of the west is as refershing as a tall drink of water." - Missoula Independent
"A smart, comprehensive, and beautiful film." - Williamette Week
"Stunning documentary...a provocative, complex portrait of Eastern Washington as it grapples with the legacy of Hanford and the future of its arid but starkly beautiful landscape." - Crosscut
CINE Golden Eagle
Audience Choice Award, Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Best Documentary, Ellensburg Film Festival
Audience Award for Best Documentary, Sweet Onion Film Festival
Best Independent Film and Focus Award, Montana CINE
Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Best Environmental Film, Seattle True Independent Film Festival
Special Jury Award, Eckerd College Environmental Film Festival
"Best of Fest", Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival
Best Environmental Film, Plymouth Independent Film Festival
Longbaugh Film Festival
Big Sky Film Series
Globians Film Festival, Potsdam, Germany
Idaho International Film Festival
Ellensburg Film Festival
Northwest Film & Video Festival
DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With Study Guide, Subtitles) / 2007 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 98 minutes
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By Justin Pemberton
In a world living in fear of climate change, the nuclear industry is now proposing itself as a solution. It claims that nuclear power generation produces zero carbon emissions... and people are listening. The result is the beginning of a global nuclear renaissance, with 27 nuclear power stations under construction, and another 136 to be commenced within the next decade.
The world's electricity consumption is expected to double in the next 25 years and the nuclear industry claims that nuclear power is the only large-scale method of power production that can reliably replace coal, gas or oil-fired power plants. But many people have an inherent fear of nuclear power. Is it time we learned to love the split atom? Or is there a risk that we might be jumping out of the carbon frying pan and into the plutonium fire?
THE NUCLEAR COMEBACK goes on a worldwide tour of the nuclear industry in search of answers. It visits some of the planet's most famous nuclear facilities, including the control room of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, it investigates the state of 'the grand old lady' of commercial nuclear power, the U.K.'s Calder Hall, and travels through a nuclear waste repository under the Baltic Sea, a uranium mine in Australia, and one of only two fuel recycling plants in the world.
Despite nuclear power's new environmental benefits, detractors claim that it's producing a 100,000-year legacy of radioactive waste, for which there is not yet any permanent storage, that the power stations are known terrorist targets, and that the industry, in addition to its links to nuclear weapons, has a reputation for accidents and cover-ups.
THE NUCLEAR COMEBACK thus poses the question of whether, by seriously considering the renewed development of nuclear power, we may now be gambling with the survival of our planet.
"A classy, informative and somewhat scary documentary... THE NUCLEAR COMEBACK garners a balanced array of viewpoints and information which allows the viewer to draw their own conclusion." - Blacklight Publishing Limited
"The industry sees climate change as its saviour, as a way of making the nuclear industry look environmentally friendly, which to be frank, it never has done." - Rob Edwards, Nuclear Correspondent, New Scientist
"We have absolutely no choice. We need to turn to nuclear energy because it is both clean, safe and abundant enough to ensure the survival of our civilization." - Bruno Comby, Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy
Best New Zealand Feature, 2007 DOC NZ Documentary Film Festival
DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2007 / 53 minutes
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This up-to-date program brings knowledge and perspective to an emotionally charged subject. Includes video footage from Los Alamos, Three Mile Island, Oak Ridge and other centers of nuclear research. Program can help provide a base in science and history for discussion of nuclear power issues, including new developments in connections between energy production and global warming.
Part 1. The History of Nuclear Power. Tells the story of how nuclear power was developed in World War II and how it has come to be an important source of power (and controversy) today.
Part 2. Nuclear Power Today and Tomorrow. Helps the student understand the basic scientific principles involved in nuclear reactions. Includes pros and cons of nuclear energy in the future.
In Nuclear Power the keys to scientific literacy include: atomic number, atomic weight, background radiation, Niels Bohr, chain reaction, Chernobyl, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, e=mc2, Enrico Fermi, fission, fusion, half-life, Hiroshima, hydrogen bomb, isotopes, meltdown, neutrons, plutonium, protons, radiation, radioactive wastes, Three Mile Island, U-235.
DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2007 / (Secondary, College) / 39 minutes
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By Thomas Johnson
On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat exploded and began spewing radioactive smoke and gas. Firemen discovered that no amount of water could extinguish the blaze. More than 40,000 residents in the immediate area were exposed to fallout 100 times greater than that from the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan. But the most serious nuclear accident in history had only begun.
Based on top-secret government documents that came to light only in the Nineties, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, THE BATTLE OF CHERNOBYL reveals a systematic cover-up of the true scope of the disaster, including the possibility of a secondary explosion of the still-smoldering magma, whose radioactive clouds would have rendered Europe uninhabitable. The government effort to prevent such a catastrophe lasted for more than seven months and sacrificed the lives of thousands of soldiers, miners and other workers.
THE BATTLE OF CHERNOBYL dramatically chronicles the series of harrowing efforts to stop the nuclear chain reaction and prevent a second explosion, to "liquidate" the radioactivity, and to seal off the ruined reactor under a mammoth "sarcophagus." These nerve-racking events are recounted through newly available films, videos and photos taken in and around the plant, computer animation, and interviews with participants and eyewitnesses, many of whom were exposed to radiation, including government and military leaders, scientists, workers, journalists, doctors, and Pripyat refugees.
The consequences of this catastrophe continue today, with thousands of disabled survivors suffering from the "Chernobyl syndrome" of radiation-related illnesses, and the urgent need to replace the hastily-constructed and now crumbling sarcophagus over the still-contaminated reactor. As this remarkable film makes clear, THE BATTLE OF CHERNOBYL is far from over.
"Truly powerful and moving... contains an impressive amount of incredibly powerful and valuable archival information, as well as some revealing interviews."-Vitaly Cheernetsky, KinoKultura: New Russian Cinema
"An epic documentary."-Variety
"Powerful... an important film... Because so much of the story has been forgotten or concealed, the film's momentum never flags."-American Society for Environmental History Newsletter
"A mind boggling piece of work... peerless... painstakingly researched... This documentary has earned the highest recommendation for its clarity, its persistent revelations, and comprehensive examination of this dismal crisis." -Michael J. Coffta, Educational Media Reviews Online
Best History & Biography Program, 2007 Banff World Television Awards
Best Documentary, 2006 Prix Italia Festival
DVD (Color) / 2006 / 94 minutes
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By Ben Lewis
For thirty years, despite worldwide protests, the idyllic Moruroa Atoll in French Polynesia was used as a site for France's nuclear tests. Despite repeated assurances by the French government that the blasts posed no environmental or health dangers, today this once environmentally pristine locale is contaminated by radiation and many of its inhabitants suffer from skin ailments, cancer, and leukemia, among other diseases.
BLOWING UP PARADISE uses color archival footage to chronicle France's explosion of various nuclear devices, in violation of the international test ban treaty, from the first test in 1966 to the last in 1995. Interviews with former and current French government officials, scientists, and nuclear advisors illuminate France's political agenda of the era as well as its continuing denial of responsibility for the social devastation wrought and its refusal to pay any compensation to former test workers.
The film also vividly portrays the protests of French nuclear policy in the region, including the actions of a Polynesian anti-nuclear terrorist group, riots in the streets of Moruroa, and years of anti-nuclear activism by Greenpeace environmentalists.
BLOWING UP PARADISE also shows the increasingly aggressive French efforts to counter such efforts. In the most notable incident, in 1985, the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior" was bombed and sunk by the French Secret Service, resulting in the death of a Greenpeace activist. In a later violent incident, as seen in amateur video recorded by those on board, 150 armed French Marines stormed a Greenpeace ship and arrested its crew members.
BLOWING UP PARADISE reveals that the Moruroa Atoll, having undergone a complete social transformation, is today a politically destabilized society. The area remains a militarized zone and has been described by scientists as a nuclear waste dump in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Even worse, it is predicted that radiation leakages will eventually occur. BLOWING UP PARADISE thus becomes an atomic version of Paradise Lost, with the 'sins' of past nuclear tests wreaking potentially global catastrophe in the future.
"Highly Recommended!" - Educational Media Reviews Online
"Pick of the Day! shows how General de Gaulle's dream of establishing France as a superpower lead to decades of atomic tests in the south Pacific." - The Guardian
"Sure to get pulse rates racing... the reality speaks for itself." - Sydney Morning Herald
"Remarkable...compelling...one of the best documentaries on the atomic age to appear in a very long time...ideal for classroom use." - H-France
DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2005 / 60 minutes
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Sydney Drell, internationally recognized physicist and arms control expert, talks about the process of freeing Andrei Sakharov from a Soviet gulag; also post-Cold War nuclear arms control issues.
DVD / 2004 / (Senior High, College, Adult) / 30 minutes
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By Thierry Michel
Iran has been presented for years as one of the cradles of Muslim fundamentalists, and more recently as a radical Muslim country on the brink of developing nuclear weapons. Iran intrigues the West on more than one account.
A college dormitory, a cemetery, a military academy, a drama class, a mosque... such are the places IRAN, VEILED APPEARANCES takes us. Iranians in their every-day life: soldiers, religious figures, young people, former soldiers, but also members of reforming movements, students, artists, or intellectuals who often pay a heavy price in their fight for freedom.
The film shows a culturally and socially fractured society, shows the country from many angles and created a multifaceted film, in image of a country where the religious fervour of some contrasts with the desire for freedom of others.
Revolution, violence and religious fanaticism; such are the images Iran has shown to the world for over two decades. Yet with all of today's sufferings, how could it be forgotten that Iran is one of the oldest nations in history?
Twenty-three years after the Islamic revolution, this country, once again prey to the turbulence of history, is taking the road towards modernity. Faced with a radical Islam advocated by religious orthodoxy, Iranian youth - eyes turned towards the West and exposed to the winds of globalisation - can no longer find its place in the religious revolution of its elders. Is the chador today nothing more than the last act of a theocracy threatened by the trend of globalisation? Is Islamic fundamentalism soluble in neo-liberalism?
IRAN, VEILED APPEARANCES looks equally at those convinced of a radical Islam and at those who aspire to more freedom. The Iranians, having confirmed their desire for change during the presidential elections, have been conned of their meagre conquests by the power of the most conservative Islamic fundamentalists. It is they who have firm control of the army, the courts and the media and who haven't hesitated to resort to political assassination and to shut off any freedom of speech.
The struggle has begun, and it is impossible today to predict how this desire for change, as expressed democratically by a large part of the Iranian population, will take a concrete form. The power of the Mullahs as well as the field of operation of the Islamic fundamentalist groups is considerable. Oppression of the reforming factions, under the mask of the cult of martyrs of the revolution, does exist.
Students, journalists, intellectuals, artists and even close associates of the reforming president Mohammed Khatami are subjected to political assassination, imprisonment, and psychological and physical torture. A true battle for freedom of expression is shaking the Iranian capital but it is impossible to predict the price that will have to be paid...
"A revelatory examination... Michel's access is remarkable, his insights pointed. The film, of course, couldn't be more timely." - Newsday
"Ventur[es] into dangerous territory, looking for a reality that has little to do with the images to be found in the international press... What emerges is a film that gives a brief glimpse of the complexity of the social fabric in modern Iran, where a desire for modernism chafes against the bedrock of fundamentalism. A courageous film... careful to ground its observations on a realistic human scale." - The Bulletin
"Compelling! Recommended! The testimony of the proponents of democratic reform who have suffered for their beliefs is poignant, and the scenes of their opponents preparing for further retaliatory action carry an ominous power." - Video Librarian
Grand Prize, 2002 Creation Documentary Festival (France)
2002 Joseph Plateau Prize for Best Belgian Documentary
DVD (Color) / 2002 / 58 minutes
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Investigates American and Soviet plans to use nuclear explosives for "geographical engineering."
In the 1950s, Edward Teller, the co-inventor of the H-bomb, proposed using "the great and violent power" of the atom bomb for peaceful purposes. NUCLEAR DYNAMITE explores the Soviet- American race to develop nuclear explosives for gigantic megaprojects.
Scientists planned to harness the power of the bomb to launch huge spaceships, dig an instant harbor in Alaska, blast out oil and gas deposits, cut through mountain ranges, and dig a new Panama canal with 300 explosions.
More than 150 nuclear blasts were carried out between 1958 and 1988 before this bizarre and extraordinary atomic dream was destroyed by the emergence of the environmental movements in both countries
"Absorbing docu digs up declassified footage to explore a threat that ran quietly alongside the Cold War weapons race. The expertly assembled "Nuclear Dynamite" looks back on 30 years, now almost forgotten, in which the U.S. and the Soviet Union competed to find the most dramatic peacetime use of atomic explosions." - Variety
"Using priceless old footage and modern-day interviews, filmmaker Gary Marcuse reconstructs this anything-goes attitude scientists and governments adopted toward health risks." - Marke Andrews, The Vancouver Sun
"Important and timely, Nuclear Dynamite recalls a fast-fading epoch of the world's nuclear history. Together with the documentary Atomic Cafe, on the government propaganda and popular culture of the early nuclear age, and such commercial films as The Day the Earth Stood Still, On the Beach, and Dr. Strangelove, it would wonderfully enrich courses on postwar America or on the nuclear era...Highly recommended." - The Journal of American History
"Nuclear Dynamite is like the bomb itself, both horrifying and immensely interesting...(It's) humourous, suspenseful and makes a good argument for testing the effects of new technology before experimenting with it on a major scale...As a good documentary should, it allows the interviewees to speak for themselves, and leaves the audience to decide if they agree." - Spencer Herbert, The Peak
"Documentary filmmaker Gary Marcuse combines science and history as he revisits the era of 'peaceful nuclear explosives,' and how it led to the stirrings of the environmental movement that forced governments to ban nuclear testing." - Fiona Hughes, The Vancouver Courier
"It would wonderfully enrich courses on postwar America or on the nuclear era...Highly recommended." - The Journal of American History
Honorable Mention, Millennium Scientific Film Festival, Hungary
Finalist, British Columbia Leo Awards
Vancouver International Film Festival
Hawaii International Film Festival
Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival
Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival
Cornell Environmental Film Festival
Edmonton Global Visions Film Festival
Durango International Film Festival
Alaska Green Party Convention
Festival Olommouc, Czech Republic
Global Visions Film Festival
Chris Award, History Category, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
Gold Dragon, Best Environmental Film, Beijing International Scientific Film Festival
Gold Remi Award, History, Houston International Film and Television Festival
Silver Certificate, Prix Leonardo Medical and Scientific Film Festival, Parma, Italy
Silver Plaque, Chicago International Television Competition
DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2000 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adult) / 72 minutes
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Nuclear, Biological, And Chemical - Under the five-color system, the federal government is required to put security measures in place depending on the threat level. States and cities are encouraged to follow suit, but are not required to. This program is not about color coding or elevated alert status changes. It's about providing you some basic information on what each employer and employee can do to help prepare for an emergency, should one occur.
Topics included in this safety video are: anthrax, biological threat, chemical threat, and dirty bomb/nuclear radiation.
DVD / 25 minutes
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Nuclear And Radiological Weapons - This program today will provide you factual information and an understanding of the real threat and how you can reasonably protect yourself in a worst case scenario. Knowledge about radiological weapons will go a long way in protection in the event a disaster should occur. The real threat lies with a Radiological Weapon and Radiological Dispersion Devices or RDDs."
Topics included in this safety video are: four basic types of radiation including alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, neutrons, history, radiological dispersion devices, terrorism.
DVD / 21 minutes
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The incident at Three Mile Island has increased debate over the use of nuclear energy. In this program, background information and interviews prepare students to make balanced judgments about the benefits and hazards of this controversial energy resource. The program describes how atomic power works and explains its potential for producing low-cost electricity. Students are given an account of positive and negative economic and ecological factors relating to nuclear energy.
DVD / 37 minutes
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Nuclear power produces almost a fifth of the world's electricity. Supporters say it's safe, cheap and - best of all - the answer to global warming. Critics say it's not safe, or cheap. And it won't really help with the global warming problem. So who's right? This program presents the arguments for and against, with relevant background information. Issues covered in this program include: radioactive waste: how hazardous is it?; Can it be safely stored?; How likely is an accident at a nuclear power plant?; What could the consequences be?; Are nuclear power stations terrorist targets?; Does nuclear power encourage the development of nuclear weapons?; Is nuclear energy 'carbon-free'?; Is it the solution to global warming?
DVD / (Grades 9-12) / 31 minutes
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In addition to covering all topics in the basic version of Nuclear Energy, this program covers a number of advanced topics. Understand the use of water to vary reactor power, as well as different methods of mining uranium and witness a specific example of a fission reaction. Students will be introduced to more detailed discussion of enrichment, including structure properties of Uranium Hexafluoride, centrifuging, gas diffusion and the decommissioning of nuclear power stations. Includes sequences designed for student enrichment and teacher background (breeder reactors, fusion and fusion reactors, fission).
DVD / (Grades 9-12) / 27 minutes
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