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Movie review: 'Pandora's Promise' makes one-sided case for nuclear power

Published July 11, 2013 6:43 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There's a debate to be had about the pros and cons of nuclear energy, but the pro-nuke documentary "Pandora's Promise" falls short of staging a fair fight.

Director Robert Stone, who chronicled the environmental movement's beginnings in "Earth Days," interviews a host of experts — who all claim their environmental activists — as they declare that their eyes have been opened to the possibilities of nuclear power. These experts argue that nuclear reactors are cleaner than coal-fired plants, more efficient than wind farms and safer than solar panels — and that those little incidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima would never happen with the next generation of super-safe, low-waste reactors.

These experts make an intriguing case worthy of consideration, but Stone hedges his bets by never presenting the other side. In fact, most of these experts go out of their way to lampoon traditional environmentalists as loony, out-of-touch and as stuck in old thinking as climate-change deniers.

The film's blatantly one-sided presentation undercuts the pro-nuclear argument more than any counterargument.

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HH

'Pandora's Promise'

Opens Friday, July 12, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but probably PG-13 for some disturbing images; 87 minutes.