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The small yet developed town of Jadugoda (in Bihar) is known for being the only underground uranium minefield of India. Yet, even as the resource plays an important role in India's nuclear development, the town's Adivasi population has been suffering the repercussions of radioactive waste being dumped in their rice fields for the last 30 years. As National Award-winning documentary filmmaker Sriprakash Prakash explores genetic mutations and slow deaths in the community through his nine-minute film, Jadugoda: The Black Magic, he has become one of the few Indian filmmakers to touch the nuclear topic. Prakash will represent India on an international platform that focuses on similar subjects from across the world — at the Travelling Uranium Film Festival that reached Delhi on January 4.
An offshoot of the International Uranium Film Festival that started in 2011 in Rio de Janeiro , the travelling festival has already been to Lisbon and Berlin and will later go to New York. The Indian line-up of 32 films — animations, short films and feature films — deals with issues such as uranium mining, nuclear power plants, atomic bombs, and even Chernobyl and Fukushima.
The Indian leg will be coordinated by Prakash. "I have made a series of films on uranium mining and when I was called to Berlin for the festival, I had my own questions about the people who live around uranium mines — their anxieties and government policies," he says, adding, "The real issue is that all this involves technical knowledge. How will the common man understand it? Hence, it's important that through this platform, discussions be held."
There are, however, only two Indian entries — the other one being Toxic Neglect (also on Jadugoda) by Moushumi Basu.
It will be held in Mumbai on February 2-3