Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Documentary: A is for Atom (Adam Curtis, 1992)

Last week Mubi's Twitter feed called to my attention that British filmmaker Adam Curtis had posted on his blog an episode of his series Pandora's Box entitled A is for Atom, an hour-long overview of the development of nuclear power during the Cold War.  While made in 1992, the film is as timely as today's headlines with the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. 

Next Tuesday, I plan to have a longer entry on Curtis's three-part documentary, The Power of Nightmares (2004).  In the meantime, check out A is for Atom while it is still available on Curtis's blog (from the comments it appears that around 11 minutes is missing from other versions of the film circulating on the internet).  Curtis is one of the most interesting documentarians working today, and his use of found footage is on par with experimental filmmakers like Bruce Conner (A Movie) and Craig Baldwin (Tribulation 99).  You should explore the rest of Curtis's personal blog, The Medium is the Message.

A is for Atom (Adam Curtis, UK, 1992, 57 minutes)
Adam Curtis:   The film tells the story of the rise of nuclear power in America, Britain and the Soviet Union. It shows how the way the technologies were developed was shaped by the political and business forces of the time. And how that led directly to inherent dangers in the design of the containment of many of the early plants.  Episode Six of Pandora's Box. Adam Curtis's blog link.

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