There are film festivals on the environment and sustainability and on water and gender, so an event dedicated to debates around nuclear technology isn’t unusual at all. The latest edition of the International Uranium Film Festival, which kicked off in Brazil in 2010, has rolled into Mumbai today, and will continue till Sunday. Over the course of three days, the festival will explore aspects of uranium mining, nuclear energy, the atomic bomb, and protest movements against the technology in different parts of the world.
The titles of the documentaries, shorts and animated films that are being screened are indicative of the film-makers’ concerns. Abita: Children From Fukushima is a nearly 4-minute animated short that looks at the continued effects of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan three years ago through the eyes of a child who loses her playground as well as a part of her childhood. There’s a whole set of films, in fact, on Fukushima, which has become the Chernobyl of our times. There’s also a lest-we-forget set of titles about the festering wounds caused by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during World War II.
The films are from all over the globe, indicating that there is hardly a consensus on nuclear energy, whether it’s in the developed north or the evolving global south. In High Power, Pradeep Indulkar explores electricity shortages in Tarapur, home to the country’s first nuclear power plant. Fallujah: A Lost Generation? investigates allegations of the use of chemical weapons by American troops against the local population during the invasion of Iraq in 2004. There’s more flak for the US in The Third Nuclear Bomb: The Veteran’s Accusation, in which a soldier who fought in the Gulf War claims that his government detonated a small nuclear bomb near the Iran border.
The screenings are being held at Films Division Mumbai’s screening theatre on Peddar Road. They are free and open to all. Click here for the complete schedule.