Monday, October 29, 2018

"The New Fire" as Shown in Vermont

David Schumacher, director of The New Fire, with me
We are sitting in front of The New Fire poster at the Vermont International Film Festival
Showing The New Fire in Vermont
The movie The New Fire was shown Friday at the Vermont International  Film Festival in Burlington VT.  I attended the screening. I am tempted to write a click-bait heading about my experience.

"I saw The New Fire in Burlington Vermont. What I discovered will surprise you!" 

The showing surprised me, at least.  This is Vermont.  I expected the audience to be hostile to nuclear energy. I expected some boo-ing during the film, and aggressive questions to the director at the Q and A period after the film.  None of that happened.

The promise of The New Fire
The New Fire follows dedicated young people as they develop new types of reactors. The film shows competent, idealistic young engineers as they design an exciting new generation of reactors. Their work will make the world far less dependent on fossil fuels.  Their dedication and idealism shines through the film.  I felt inspired and energized as I watched.

The rest of the audience also appeared to be impressed. During the film, the audience was quiet and thoughtful. Afterward, they asked reasonable questions, not aggressive rants disguised as questions.  In the hallway later, the conversations were interested and even a bit hopeful.

The competence and sincerity of the young engineers had clearly made an impression on the people watching the film. 

As a nuclear advocate, I am grateful to director David Schumacher for making The New Fire.  I hope it will be shown widely.  (The DVD is also available on Amazon.)   This movie will inspire more people to understand the hope and the reality of the new generation of nuclear power.  Perhaps they may even begin to appreciate our current generation of nuclear plants.

The New Fire and me
I had seen the film at an earlier showing, and I had also watched the DVD with my husband.  So the movie was not new to me. What was new was that I was seeing it in Burlington, at a film festival.

The audience's reaction made  me feel better about Vermont. Trying to save Vermont Yankee left me with a deep seated (but rarely expressed) anger at the crowing of the plant opponents when the plant announced it would close. My anger often spread itself further than just those people I could easily identify as people who hated Vermont Yankee. It began to encompass many people in Vermont.

Watching this film made me happier about Vermont people and Vermont as a state.  Some Vermonters will consider nuclear power.  Some Vermonters recognize idealism when they see it.  Some Vermonters are willing to learn.

David Schumacher said that the positive audience reactions at this showing was typical of all the showings.  I was glad to hear this.  I saw The New Fire in Burlington Vermont. What I discovered surprised me!

1 comment:

Howard Shaffer said...

AS I recall the polls at the end of the fight over Vermont Yankee were about 42% for, 46% against - in other words neck and neck in the margin of error. But those for were mostly silent and those against had co-opted the Legislature and political process.

Howard Shaffer