Review: ‘Fatal Fallout’

Agit-video is meant to stir the viewer to action, but "Fatal Fallout" is -- with its long train of extremely talkative heads -- more likely to put auds to sleep. This is a shame, since helmer Gary Null's pic is concerned with the important issue of nuclear energy problems, from potential carcinogenic effects to nuke plants being sitting ducks for terrorist attacks.

Agit-video is meant to stir the viewer to action, but “Fatal Fallout” is — with its long train of extremely talkative heads — more likely to put auds to sleep. This is a shame, since helmer Gary Null’s pic is concerned with the important issue of nuclear energy problems, from potential carcinogenic effects to nuke plants being sitting ducks for terrorist attacks. However, discussion here appears aimless and swamps viewers with more scientific data and claims than can possibly be absorbed in one sitting. Pic, geared to concern over the Gotham-adjacent Indian Point plant, opens today in a commercial New York run at the Village East, but additional outreach appears extremely limited.

Hypothetical attack on Indian Point is depicted in portentous narration and endless doom-and-gloom music, but focus is quickly lost as experts shift back and forth between health hazards, media self-censorship, the links between nuke’s military and commercial uses, Three Mile Island, nuclear waste storage and more. Brilliant physicist Michio Kaku, however, helpfully dominates the talk, confirming his position as science’s best communicator since Carl Sagan.

Fatal Fallout

Production

A Gary Null presentation. Produced by Liza Koch. Executive producer, Gary Null. Directed by Gary Null.

Crew

Camera (color, video), Barry Markowitz, Derek Ramsey, Robert Kehoe; editor, Liza Koch; music, Killer Tracks. Reviewed on videotape, L.A., April 2, 2003. (In New York Independent Film and Video Festival.) Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Michio Kaku, Helen Caldicott, Ernest J. Sternglass, Joseph Mangano, Samuel Epstein, Rosalie Bertell, Jay Gould, Gail Merrell, Anna Mayo, Matthew Kichmann, Mark Jacobs, Suzanne Saltzman, Alice Slater, Gary Null.
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