“Indian Point” is a documentary that explores the controversial nuclear plant by the same name, which sits just 35 miles outside of New York City. The film was directed by Ivy Meeropol, who has produced episodes of the documentary series, “The Hill,” and made a film about her grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, titled “Heir to an Execution.”
Most interesting about “Indian Point” is that Meeropol was allowed to take her cameras into the facility itself, where we can see the age of the equipment. Built in the 1960’s, Indian Point is within 50 miles of 6% of the U.S. population. For protesters and environmentalists, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
For example, some experts worry that the plant sits on two fault lines. While this area of the East Coast has rarely seen earthquakes, many warn that it’s only a matter of time. Riverkeeper, an organization for which Robert Kennedy, Jr. is Chief Prosecuting Attorney, is particularly interested because there’s no question that the plant contaminates the water surrounding it.
For the people who manage the facility and others in the nuclear industry, it’s perfectly safe. But as one person in the film says regarding the evacuation issue, “Of course the plant’s safe, and nothing’s ever going to happen. But if it did, we have no way to get out.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is on the side of the environmentalists, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to drag its heels. Currently, the plant is operating under an expired license while the NRC decides whether or not to renew it.
To call the information brought to light in the film “troubling” is an understatement. One of the most disturbing issues is that interviewees within the film can’t even agree on so-called facts. We’re left with no investigation as to which side might be right, however.
Meeropol is so careful to be even-handed that the film has little point of view. It seems to lean slightly toward the activists, but the documentary is almost straight reportage.
“Indian Point” opens in New York tonight, July 8, 2016, at Lincoln Center and opens in Los Angeles July 22.