A Question of Power (1986)

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27 December 2010 | mjneu59
| preaching to the choir
The myth of safe nuclear energy has largely been revealed for the sham it really is, thanks in part to the enormous efforts of various grass-roots organizations operating nationwide. But it's hard to imagine anyone not already well aware of the risks of nuclear power generation being able to appreciate this sometimes self-congratulatory documentary, charting the tide of protest surrounding the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant outside San Louis Obispo, California, in the early 1980s. The accomplishments of the Abalone Alliance are certainly worth applauding, but their repeated bids to prevent construction of the Diablo Canyon reactor are made to look more like a bandwagon attempt to recapture the communal spirit of the Summer of Love, instead of an effective campaign against dangerous bureaucratic hypocrisy. What remains is some colorful and lively television news footage of creative non-violence and civil disobedience, complete with folk guitar accompaniment as a contrast to the ominous synthesizer drone used to represent the NRC. The film is earnest and its message is critical, but a more objective approach could have brought wider recognition of the issues at stake.

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