Buried in Earthskin| 50mins
Director: Helena Kingwill | Producer: Helena Kingwill
Focus Years: 2009 | Country: South Africa
Driven by a disturbing vision of nuclear waste as a malignant tumor in the earth's skin, Helena sets off on a road trip to follow the route taken by the trucks carrying nuclear waste from the nuclear power plant in Cape Town to their destination in the pristine semi-desert region of Namaqualand. There she meets men and women of the Nama-Khoi tribe, who live in the area, and listens to their untold stories.
Her investigation leads her to the homes of other communities around South Africa living and working in close proximity to nuclear facilities from nuclear fuel manufacturing plants to nuclear waste dumps as well as future nuclear power plant sites. She hears how their lives have been affected by the nuclear industry. Helena listens to the perspectives of nuclear analysts, economists, the government minister of minerals and energy, and the owner/manager of South Africa's first wind farm. During the making of the film she becomes a mother of two. This becomes further motivation for a personal drive to understand the impacts of South Africa's energy choices and itâ€™s impacts on the environment for future generations.
This film aims to look at the nuclear issue as holistically as possible, and sheds light on the predicament facing decision makers: energy generation versus the environment. Alternative solutions are blowing in the wind, but can we access them? Who pays the ultimate price for our convenient electricity? Who holds the power and can a critical mass shift the paradigm?
"Buried in Earthskin" subtly demonstrates how energy and political power go hand in hand, and gives a voice to marginalized indigenous peoples who have paid the ultimate price for decisions made (about where we get our electric power) for the sake of political and financial power.
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