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Pandora's Promise (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 15 November 2013 (UK)
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A feature-length documentary about the history and future of nuclear power. The film explores how and why mankind's most feared and controversial technological discovery is now passionately... See full summary »


Robert Stone


Robert Stone
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Stewart Brand ... Himself - Founder & Publisher, Whole Earth Catalog
Richard Rhodes Richard Rhodes ... Himself - Author, The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Gwyneth Cravens Gwyneth Cravens ... Herself - Author, Power to Save the World
Mark Lynas ... Himself - Environmental Activist
Michael Shellenberger Michael Shellenberger ... Himself - President & Co-Founder, The Breakthrough Institute
Len Koch Len Koch ... Himself - Pioneering Nuclear Engineer
Charles Till Charles Till ... Himself - Pioneering Nuclear Physicist
Ted Nordhaus Ted Nordhaus ... Himself - Environmental Activist
Robert Kennedy Jr. ... Himself - Environmental Activist (archive footage)
Amory Lovins Amory Lovins ... Himself - Environmental Scientist (archive footage)
Helen Caldicott Helen Caldicott ... Herself - Environmental Activist
James Inhofe James Inhofe ... Himself - Senator, Oklahoma (archive footage)


A feature-length documentary about the history and future of nuclear power. The film explores how and why mankind's most feared and controversial technological discovery is now passionately embraced by many of those who once led the charge against it. Operating as history, cultural meditation and contemporary exploration, PANDORA'S PROMISE aims to inspire a serious and realistic debate over what is without question the most important question of our time: how do we continue to power modern civilization without destroying it? Written by RS

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What if this cube could power your entire life.




Not Rated


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

15 November 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ящик Пандоры See more »

Filming Locations:

Fukushima, Japan See more »


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,495, 16 June 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$66,643, 4 August 2013
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Herself - Author, Power to Save the World: In fact, all the all the spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear plants in the United States could fit in a single football field, if you stack the fuel rods to a hight of about 3 meters. That's it.
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User Reviews

Not at all convincing
28 July 2013 | by miffedoneSee all my reviews

Well, with a title like "Not at all convincing", it will surprise some readers to know that I am a supporter of nuclear power. Unfortunately, this film is polemic, one sided, and so entirely slanted that it works against its own purpose.

Anti-nuke protesters are shown, but only the most extreme ("1,000,000 deaths in Chernobyl!") and holes are so wide you could drive a nuclear submarine through them ("Look! Chernobyl! Almost radiation free!")

The reality is that Chernobyl is a decaying mess, and it is the failure of the nuclear plant that caused it. Even if not directly, *it doesn't matter!* When the nuke plant blows up, nobody is going to stick around because some filmmaker found 27 souls who moved back to Chernobyl 10 years later and they're OK.

The problem of nuclear waste is real. It doesn't matter whether we've poured $30 billion into Yucca Mountain or not, the people of Nevada are unmistakably against it (nearly 75%!) so pretending it's a problem that will somehow go away is akin to howling at the moon.

Solar (and other renewables) are dismissed with "You can't do everything with solar power." Well, I don't know of anyone outside a few oddball extremists who ever thought that. Pretending that's a legitimate argument may allow you to demolish it, but then what have you accomplished? You've demonstrated that you can mount an effective argument against a lie? Good show.

I happen to be one who believes that humans have a limitless appetite for energy. I am sure that nuclear has to be part of that, and probably a BIG part of that. But reducing opponents' arguments to caricature and showing lopsided and occasionally irrelevant factoids is not the way to convince anyone.

Here's the question: do you want people to say "Yes, the industry should only use government approved designs, or should the 'free market' be allowed to produce anything it wants" flies in the face of the ideology of most of the supporters of nuclear power. Do you think anyone, anywhere wants the nuclear waste in their backyard? No? Why not? (I know, I know, everybody's irrational except you.) What would happen In New York City if that happy little nuclear power station on Long Island went up in smoke, as Fukushima did (which we were assured could never happen, of course.)

These are the questions I hoped the documentary would answer, for the good of the industry, global warming, the nation and the planet. Unfortunately this film is more of an infomercial for the nuclear industry, as phony as the chicken that come so perfectly baked (every time!) from that stove-top rotisserie grill you can buy for only 3 easy payments of $39.99.

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