A film about the history and future of nuclear power, Pandora’s Promise explores how and why mankind’s most feared and controversial technological discovery is now passionately embraced by many of those who once led the charge against it. Presenting as history, cultural meditation and contemporary exploration, the film aims to inspire a serious and realistic debate over what is without question the most important question of our time: how do we continue to power modern civilization without destroying it? Pandora’s Promise asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty. In this film that has sparked controversy among environmentalists, director Robert Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a conversion from being fiercely anti- to strongly pro-nuclear energy.
In the next few decades, humankind will need to double, or even triple energy production as billions of people in the developing world lift themselves out of poverty and begin to live modern lives. Unless the source of this new energy is clean and non-CO2 emitting, the risk of triggering a devastating global climate catastrophe is all but certain. The magnitude of this dilemma, and the limitations of commonly proposed solutions, have left the mainstream environmental movement teetering between apocalyptic thinking and utter disarray. Plunging headfirst into this challenge comes Pandora’s Promise, the highly anticipated and debated new film by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Robert Stone that recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Three years in the making and filmed on four continents, this meticulously researched and beautifully crafted film asks whether the most viable option we have to tackle climate change might be the one technology we fear the most: nuclear power.
Some environmentalists have called this film “a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary… funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors…Despite the film’s premise and early claim that it features ‘a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists’ who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured.”
Running time: 1 hour 29 minutes.