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Language German
Subtitles English
Genre Documentary
Country Germany
Year 1987
Director Bertram Verhaag, Claus Striegel
Production Pro-ject Filmproduktion im Filmverlag der Autoren GmbH & Co. Produktions KG (München)
Length 91 minutes
FSK movie 12 years

Numerous protests against the planned nuclear power plants were symptomatic of the 1970s, and there are many documentaries about them. One of the earliest was “Lieber heute aktiv als morgen radioaktiv” in 1976, which Nina Gladitz shot about the protests in Wyhl. The newly founded Freiburg Medienwerkstatt traced the chronology of this protest in “s’ Weschpenäscht” (1982). Heinz Harmsdorf, Manfred Bannenberg and Bernd Westphal documented the resistance in Brokdorf in northern Germany in “Im Norden da gibt es ein schönes Land” (1977). Michael Herl, Uwe Heitkamp and Helge Cramer realised “WAAhnsinn – der Wackersdorf-Film” (1986) about the nuclear reprocessing plant.

The Munich team from DENKmal Film, Bertram Verhaag and Claus Strigel, shot the trilogy SPALTPROZESSE (1987), “Restrisiko oder die Arroganz der Macht” (1989) and “Das achte Gebot” (1992) about the deceptive strategies of the nuclear industry. SPALTPROZESSE begins with a police evidence video of militant demonstrators. Against the background of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which also radioactively contaminated Germany, the two filmmakers show the protest against the Wackersdorf reprocessing plant in Upper Palatinate. Many of the protesters describe the great solidarity and support and their evolution from upright to rebellious citizens. They had lost confidence in politics when the district administrator and the local courts were excluded by the Bavarian state government so it could get its way. Ultimately, their protests were successful, the reprocessing plant was not put into operation.

In the film, Chancellor Helmut Kohl warns of mass unemployment and poverty if the nuclear power plants are switched off. After the nuclear accident in Fukushima, the German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel decided at the end of 2011 to gradually phase out nuclear energy in Germany by 2022.
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