Despite the tragedies of Chernobyl and Fukushima, Indian Point has no reasonable evacuation plan in place and staggeringly, remains functional despite a lapsed license. Environmental activists vociferously rally against this institution they also contend is insidiously poisoning New York’s ecosystem. With an adroit sensibility for the vérité, Indian Point offers balanced and evenhanded examination of the issue of nuclear safety. We are introduced to a host of complex characters including, Roger Witherspoon, an environmental journalist and his activist wife Marilyn Elle, figures at the forefront of the fight to close Indian Point for good. We also meet Gregory Jaczko; former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in favour of nuclear power who was forced to resign after his post-Fukushima recommendations for safety were rebuked by the energy industry.
With Indian Point, Meeropol offers an eye-opening and provocative exploration of the regulatory processes and environmental impacts of nuclear energy, asking one of the most essential environmental questions of our time: what is the best way to fuel our future? Featuring unprecedented access to the plant and combining rich archival material with candid interviews, the film avoids offering easy answers to this highly complex issue.
Indian Point is the perfect companion piece to Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise, also screening at this year’s festival.
Designed in the 1950s and nestled north of the Hudson River, Indian Point is an aging power plant that sits perilously placed above a densely populated Manhattan.
Opening with remarkably cinematic footage that takes us into the heart of the plant itself, filmmaker Ivy Meeropol showcases the daily routine of Indian Point’s workers who steadfastly vouch for its safety. Here, precaution is paramount and an abundance of controls are in place to ensure the chance of any danger is infinitesimal. However, when the results of a meltdown are so potentially catastrophic and alternative energy sources are ‘cleaner’ and even more abundant, to what extent is any risk justifiable?