Directed by Robert Stone. (2013, NR, 90 min.)
REVIEWED By Louis Black, Fri., June 21, 2013
Pandora’s Promise is a fascinating documentary about nuclear power that argues it is the true green energy. It would be hard to imagine a film more controversial than this one. Sure to push opponents of nuclear power into all kinds of rages, the film insists that the strengths of nuclear power are underestimated and the weaknesses overstated.
The film regards nuclear power as an amazing and mostly positive energy source which can provide the clean energy that solar and wind power will never be capable of producing in sufficient quantity. Dismissing fossil fuels as dirty and dangerous, it finds that nuclear energy has many productive and necessary uses. Half the film argues for the effective use of nuclear power, and the other half argues against its bad press and consistently negative treatment. This includes defending Chernobyl and Three Mile Island as being not nearly as deadly or dangerous as believed.
Former anti-nuke spokespeople who have changed their positions are among the many talking heads in this film, which lends a very real depth and eloquence to the discussion. On the other hand, the anti-nuclear camp already has task forces busily attacking the points made by Pandora’s Promise.
An amazing argument no matter which side of the debate you favor, Stone’s film manages to restock and bring a fresh voice to an old controversy. The documentary is well-made and articulately argued, although that doesn't mean it isn't going to have as many adversaries as champions.