Indian Point (The Film)-Director’s TalkBack: Rhinebeck, NY

This is our second opportunity to produce and document a video during a “TalkBack” after a screening of the award winning film,”Indian Point”, directed by Ivy Meeropol.  This particular screening was a special showing organized as a benefit for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater by Manna Jo Greene, the Environmental Director of the organization, who moderated and participated in the “TalkBack”.

Ivy Meeropol, the director of the film led the discussion in which Roger Witherspoon, an environmental journalist, and Marilyn Elie, a local activist with the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC), also participated. Both Roger and Marilyn appeared in the film.

This Q&A session is jam packed with information about:  the current status of Indian Point, how much electricity Indian Point contributes to our grid and much more.  The myth that Indian Point, or it’s owner, Entergy, actually produces 25% of NYC’s energy needs is debunked by Roger Witherspoon, as he walks the audience through how much electricity the plant produces and how much the New York City/ Westchester grid uses.  This is something the film does not go into.

Other points covered include:  Indian Point is operating without a license and was not required to do a root cause analysis when 22% of the baffle bolts performing a key function were found to be degraded.  This is the largest percentage of degraded bolts ever found in a reactor anywhere.  And this in spite of Indian Point’s potential to affect the 20 million people who live and work within the 50 mile danger zone with Indian Point as its center.

Ivy Meeropol answers questions about her choices in directing the film.  She makes clear that the film does not take sides. This applies to the music she selected and had written for the film and how it is used in the film.  She lays out the issue through the eyes of the people she follows and let’s viewers come to their own conclusions. In response to an audience member who wanted more timeline graphics and more detailed information about plant closures, Meeropol restates her commitment to the intelligence of her audience and the power of story. There are plenty of advocacy films on nuclear power.  This documentary is unique because it is not one of them. It stands in a class by itself and the talk after the screening details just how.

Indian Point, the documentary, is a character driven story of nuclear power – both for those who favor it and those who want to close the reactors at Indian Point. The story is told through the eyes of Brian Vangar, Control Room Supervisor, Gregory Jasckzo, former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  Roger Witherspoon, environmental journalist, and Marilyn Elie, advocate for closing the plant.  Screenings have taken place in LA, Lincoln Center, NYC, Vermont’s Green Mountain Film Festival, the Upstate Film Theatre in Rhinebeck, NY and other festivals and theatres.

A trailer for the film can be seen at:

Energy Matters,

Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition @

The Environment TV:

This video was documented at Upstate Films Theatre in Rhinebeck, NY, and we thank the staff and others who made this screening possible.


About Charlie Olson (162 Articles)
Co-Founder of The Co-Founder of Environmental News and Views, Channel 74 Westchester Co-Producer of The Environment TV, Manhattan Neighborhood Network Member of The Collective, WBAI 99.5 FM radio Assistant to producer, Environmental Issues, Staten Island Community TV

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