Nuclear Now

Nuclear Now
Original title:Nuclear Now
Director:Oliver Stone
Running time:106 minutes
Release date:28 april 2023
In the middle of the 20th century, as societies began to turn to nuclear power and abandon fossil fuels, a lengthy public relations campaign aimed at scaring the public was launched, financed in large part by oil interests. This campaign would sow fear about harmless low-level radiation and create confusion between nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Director Oliver Stone explores the possibility of the global community tackling challenges such as climate change and achieving a better future through nuclear power.

Mulder's Review

Oliver Stone's latest documentary, Nuclear Now, arrives on the cinematic scene at a critical moment in human history. As the world grapples with the interrelated challenges of an energy crisis and the ever-increasing spectre of climate change, Oliver Stone tackles the complex and often controversial subject of nuclear power. Through a carefully orchestrated mix of historical analysis, expert interviews and personal reflections, the filmmaker embarks on a mission to demystify nuclear power and present it as a practical solution to the monumental environmental problems we face.

The documentary opens with an evolution in global attitudes towards nuclear power. Oliver Stone cites a recent Gallup poll revealing an unexpected rise in American support for nuclear power, a sentiment not seen for nearly a decade. This upsurge in favor coincides with a world increasingly burdened by the harsh realities of climate change, underscoring the documentary's central theme: nuclear power could be the key to a sustainable future.

Oliver Stone, often known for his penchant for provocative storytelling, takes on the unexpected role of measured advocate in Nuclear Now. His characteristic gravelly voice lends a certain gravity to the film's narration, lending it an air of authority. But it's Stone's commitment to maintaining a balanced, thoughtful approach that really shines. Moving away from his reputation as an agitator, he delivers an informed and thoughtful analysis of the potential of nuclear power.

The documentary challenges viewers by tackling head-on the deep-seated fears that have become synonymous with nuclear power. Oliver Stone dismantles the historical conflation of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, which has left an indelible stigma on the collective consciousness. Meticulously tracing this narrative from the Cold War era to the present day, he refutes the idea that anything "nuclear" is inherently dangerous.

Oliver Stone calls on various experts and advocates to bolster his argument, building a solid foundation for his assertions. He effectively debunks the prevailing myths about nuclear safety, highlighting the impressive progress made in reactor design and waste containment. This is an eye-opening revelation, particularly when comparing the number of victims of nuclear accidents with the number of deaths and illnesses linked to the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels.

The director's inclusion of global perspectives enriches the conversation. Oliver Stone contrasts America's reticence about nuclear power with that of countries such as France and China, which have made it an essential part of their strategies to reduce carbon emissions. These international success stories challenge the conventional wisdom that renewable energies alone can solve our energy problems, making a pragmatic case for the essential role nuclear power can play in meeting the world's growing demand for energy.

Yet "Nuclear No" is not without its faults. Stone's documentary style sometimes veers towards the didactic, relying heavily on voice-over narration and a barrage of images to convey information. This pedagogical approach sometimes sacrifices emotional resonance, making the film's presentation more akin to a PowerPoint lecture than a fervent plea for action. Unfortunately, this is a missed opportunity, as the documentary's potential impact could have been amplified by a more artistic approach to storytelling.

In a world beset by apocalyptic visions of climate change, Nuclear Now comes across as a rare ray of hope. Oliver Stone's call to action, though somewhat muted by the film's formal structure, carries considerable weight. The documentary invites us to shake off our preconceptions and seriously consider the potential of nuclear power to avert climate catastrophe. Its message resonates as an urgent exhortation to re-evaluate our energy choices and rise to the challenge.

Oliver Stone, a filmmaker who doesn't shy away from controversial subjects, constructs an important and captivating narrative in "Nuclear Now. Despite some examples of didacticism, the documentary's message resonates with the urgency of cooperation, innovation and a renewed perspective on the role of nuclear energy in building a sustainable future. At a time when the need to protect our planet is becoming ever more pressing, Nuclear No" is a poignant reminder that the road ahead requires a multi-pronged approach, encompassing the exploration of nuclear energy's untapped potential.

Nuclear now
Directed by Oliver Stone
Written by Oliver Stone & Joshua S. Goldstein
Produced by Fernando Sulichin, Maximilien Arvelaiz & Robert S. Wilson
Starring Oliver Stone (Narrator)
Music by Vangelis
Cinematography : Lucas Fuica, Korkut Akir & Steven Wacks
Edited by Brian Berdan & Kurt Mattila
Distributed by Abramorama (United States)
Release date : Apr 28, 2023
Running time : 106 minutes

Seen September 7 2023 at (Deauville international center

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