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  • Nov 3-5

Pandora’s Promise

pandoras promise movie

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.