Directed by Judy Irving, Christopher Beaver & Ruth Landy • Documentary • 1982 • 82 minutes
It’s been 75 years since the start of the Atomic Age, with the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, but its trail of destruction has never ended.
Dark Circle covers both the period’s beginnings and its aftermath, providing a scientific primer on the catastrophic power of nuclear energy while also relating tragic human stories detailing the devastating toll radioactive toxicity has taken – focusing in large part on Rocky Flats, Colorado, whose plutonium trigger facility infamously contaminated the surrounding area.
Academy shortlisted for Best Documentary and a National Emmy winner, Dark Circle is no less potent today than it was 40 years ago. The new 2K HD Restoration was assisted by the Academy Film Archive and supervised by co-director Judy Irving.
"★★★★! Dark Circle is one of the most horrifying films I've seen, and also sometimes one of the funniest (if you can laugh at the same things in real life that you found amusing in Dr. Strangelove). Using powers granted by the Freedom of Information Act, and sleuthing that turned up government film the government didn't even know it had, the producers of this film have created a mosaic of the Atomic Age. It is a tribute to the power of the material, and to the relentless digging of the filmmakers, that the movie is completely riveting." —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times