Uranium Film Festival 2011

"Uranio em Movi(e)mento" was held on 21-28 May 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, and in June in São Paulo.


It is, according to the organisers: "Latin America´s first film festival to highlight nuclear and radioactive issues.  It is an annual event with 2 international competitions.  The Uranium Film Festival wants to inform especially the Brazilian, Latin American and Portuguese speaking societies and stimulate world-wide the production of independent documentaries and movies about the whole nuclear fuel cycle, about the dangers of radioactivity, about the environmental and health risks of uranium exploration, mining and processing."


Some of the selected feature films raise issues of business and human rights:


The Return of Navajo Boy, Jeff Spitz, USA, 2000-2008


"The Return of Navajo Boy...is an internationally acclaimed documentary that reunited a Navajo family and triggered a federal investigation into uranium contamination. It tells the story of Elsie Mae Begay, whose history in pictures reveals an incredible and ongoing struggle for environmental justice...We will continue filming and raising awareness until all Navajo communities impacted by more than one thousand abandoned uranium mines are cleaned up."






Fight for Country, Pip Starr, Australia, 2006


"The campaign to stop the Jabiluka uranium mine is one of the biggest environmental campaigns Austrailia has seen. The mine was eventually stopped (temporarily at least) due to opposition from the traditional owners, and their ability, under the NT Land Rights Act, to veto the expansion. The help of tens of thousands of Australians was also an important part of the opposition. Now in 2006 the Australian Governement is pushing to expand our nuclear industry...The Jabiluka campaign is a wonderful example of how grass roots peaceful direct action can make a difference to the world."


watch the trailer here




Yellow Cake: The dirt behind uranium, Joachim Tschirner, Germany, 2005-2010


"Uranium mining, the first link in the chain of nuclear development, has managed again and again to keep itself out of the public eye. A web of propaganda, disinformation and lies covers its sixty-year history. The third largest uranium mine in the world was located in the East German provinces of Saxony and Thuringia. Operating until the Reunification, it had the code name WISMUT – German for bismuth, though it supplied the Soviet Union exclusively with the much sought-after strategic resource Yellow Cake. For the last 20 years WISMUT have been making a huge material and financial effort to come to terms with their past, which is an alarming present and future on other continents. The film accompanies for several years the biggest clean-up operation in the history of uranium mining and takes the viewers to the big mines in Namibia, Australia and Canada."






Deadly Dust: The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children, Frieder F. Wagner, Germany, 2004


"What many do not know, is that the weapons used in the wars carried out here and there during this last decade contain  a radioactive material, the so called depleted Uranium (DU). The consequences of the use of DU weapons in arms conflicts are disastrous. In the documentary “Deadly Dust” (which by the way was practically censored in Germany, although produced initially for the German TV)  the filmmakers Freider Wagner and and Valentin Thurn show the horrendous reality of the persons and the regions contaminated with DU. Dr. Siegwart-Horst Gunther, a former colleague of Albert Schweitzer, and Tedd Weyman of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) traveled to Iraq and Yugoslavia, from Germany and Canada respectively, to assess uranium contamination.  The stories they tell show that the NATO have been committing serious war crimes."






Into Eternity, Michael Madsen, Danmark, 2009


"Every day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storage, which is vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. In Finland the world’s first permanent repository is being hewn out of solid rock – a huge system of underground tunnels - that must last 100,000 years as this is how long the waste remains hazardous."






Uranium, Magnus Isacsson, Canada, 1990


"This controversial film exposes the ethical and environmental problems which surround the practice of uranium mining in Canada. The film delivers some hard-hitting and little known facts about the detrimental impact of uranium mining on the environment as well as on the health of those employed in the industry. Toxic, radioactive waste is a severely detrimental by-product of uranium mining, which has been proven to cause profound, long-term environmental damage. The same radioactive waste puts the miners at extreme risk for developing cancer. Finally, because most of the mining to date has been conducted on land historically used by Canada's Native populations, uranium mining violates the traditional economic and spiritual lives of many aboriginal peoples. Given what we know about uranium mining, the film questions the validity of its continued practice."




Stop Castor (Der zehnte Castor-Transport nach Gorleben), Sylvain Darou, Germany, 2007


"Protests against Nuclear Waste Transports in Germany: Nowhere on earth has the nuclear industry found a safe way to keep waste that will remain dangerous for at least a million years. In Germany politicians decided 30 years ago that a salt deposit near the village of Gorleben in the north of the country should be the permanent repository, and a prefabricated storage hall next door to it the "interim storage". Scientists almost from the outset ruled the salt dome unsafe. The 800 people living near Gorleben and several thousand others living in a cluster of villages and small towns in the picturesque farming and forestry area have fought the nuclear plans and the transportation of waste to the storage from the beginning. The recycled waste from German power stations comes from a plutonium plant in northern France in so-called Castor caskets. We have filmed the protests against the tenth such transport to Gorleben in November 2006. You will see how after 30 years the people living near Gorleben and the thousands who join them from all over Germany once a year when the Castor train comes are not tired of revolting against this nuclear madness."


watch the trailer here