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GPFF: Project Chariot

Global Peace Film Fest is an annual event held in Orlando. This year members of the RCC 100: Writing About Social Justice and Community class attended and wrote reviews on a selection of the films. Read all reviews here.

Project Chariot is an informative and invoking film about the struggles regarding nuclear pollution that the Inupiat villagers of Tikigaq in Northern Alaska have had to face since the middle of the last century. Directed by Rachel Naninaaq Edwardson, Project Chariot excels in its focus and presentation of the issue that Edwardson wishes to address. In the 1960s, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission decided to test a nuclear bomb–160 times the size of the one dropped on Hiroshima–30 miles away from the small village of Tikigaq (Point Hope), Alaska. The villagers managed to fight off the Commission, but the aftermath of nuclear testing and atomic waste remains in the form of rampant cancer rates and toxic water supply. The film does a wonderful job of focusing on its topic and it rarely feels overextended. However, I think it could have taken out a few minutes of unnecessary, pleonastic interviews. The film combines recent interviews of various villagers and scientists with a large amount of old footage, therefore enforcing the idea that even though this was a historical documentary, the issue is still very prevalent today. Inupiat interviewees speak in both English and their native language, Inupiaq, breaking the language barrier between themselves and the viewers. Additionally, the cinematography in the majority of the scenes was striking and tight, relaying only the central information in a visually compelling manner. Many of the shots using old footage of explosions were especially eye-grabbing.

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