Unstable Elements – Atomic Stories 1939–85

Film, Documentaries

Time Out says

Two-thirds documentary, one-third dramatic moral exemplar, this traces a new history of the bomb and its domestic spin-offs: the World War II race between the Allies and the Axis to get there first, the complicity of politicians and scientists, the international bullying antics of America (riding to world domination on the back of the bomb), and the fallacy of the 'Atoms for Peace' campaign, portrayed here as a whitewash over a deliberate policy of using nuclear power stations to produce plutonium for the bomb. Using documentary footage, interviews with Manhattan Project scientists and their UK counterparts, excellent montages from Peter Kennard, and interviews with the relatives of dead nuke industry workers, it's a powerful indictment. But the final part - a mystifyingly oblique drama about the human, emotional effect of the nuke industry, based around Sizewell B - presents such an abrupt change as to almost scupper what went before.

By: JG


Release details

90 mins

Cast and crew

Paul Morrison, Andy Metcalf
Stephen Lowe
Donald Sumpter
Caroline Hutchison
Susanna Kleeman
Sam Kolpe
David Henry
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