By Levi Michaels, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Just three months after the Brazilian government started discussing the construction of a third nuclear reactor in Angra dos Reis, the International Uranium Film Festival will return to Rio de Janeiro starting Thursday, May 16 through Sunday, May 26.
The third installment of the festival will take place in the Cinemateque of the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and will include fifty-two films from twenty different countries about the nuclear fuel chain, radioactivity, and nuclear war, as well as an international roundtable on uranium mining and a photo exhibition showing the harmful effects of the controversial mining process in Jadugoda, India.
Since its 2011 inception in Rio de Janeiro, the International Uranium Film Fest has expanded to four countries and over twenty cities. In February of this year, festival organizers completed their first journey to India, where they brought more than forty films to ten different cities.
They were also invited to hold sessions at Indian universities to promote the festival’s goal of stimulating discussion about nuclear power in a non-partisan fashion. In addition to the forthcoming exhibit in Rio de Janeiro, organizers have plans to take their show to Sri Lanka, Kathmandu, Nepal, London, New York, and Arizona.
“The festival not only shows films on the problem of generating nuclear energy and uranium mining which is the fuel for power plants and nuclear bombs, [it] also stimulates neutral discussion on this issue in all of society: workers, students, housewives, journalists, filmmakers, artists, trade unionists,” said director general of the festival and German journalist Norbert G. Suchanek, who lives in Rio de Janeio.
Suchanek continued, “It shows why we are all affected by the accidents at Chernobyl, Fukushima and Goiânia, and how we all pay for this in our bills and taxes.”
This year’s exhibit will show 52 films from a variety of genres that will compete for the prestigious Yellow Oscar awarded by the festival judges each year.
Nominees include “Blackwater,” a documentary from Spain about the relationship between radioactive pollution in water and food safety, “Curiosity Kills,” a short film from Estonia about a boy who feeds nuclear liquids to his pet rat, turning it into a radioactive killing machine, and “Half Life,” a science-fiction story set in post-fallout Germany, when clean vegetables become the most precious resources on Earth.
From the United States comes the award-winning “Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1,” which explores how advanced technology allows us to reach new levels of savagery.
There will also be nine world premieres, including “Abita, Children from Fukushima,” an animated short from Germany about children in Fukushima who can’t play outside, “High Power,” a documentary about the thousands of people displaced by the construction of India’s first nuclear power plant, and “Caetité, Suffering in Shades of Grey,” a documentary about the status of Brazil’s second uranium mining operation in Catité, Bahia.
Tickets are R$6 for general admission and R$3 for students and seniors. For more information on the festival program and film descriptions, visit the Uranium Festival Website.