Anti-nuclear activists have a new way to spread the word about the dangers of weapons testing and radioactive waste - documentary film. In 1998, with borrowed equipment, no budget and little experience, John Brooner of Susanville, Calif., and Sandi Rizzo of Reno, Nev., began filming Shundahai Network's annual spring gathering at the Nevada Test Site.


Shundahai Network works with the Western Shoshone tribe on anti-nuclear and environmental justice issues. The Western Shoshones claim the test site, which they call "Newe Sogobia," as their traditional homeland; they call the area "the most nuked place on earth."


Brooner and Rizzo whittled down 18 tapes of footage to a film titled Alternatives to Madness. The documentary covers all aspects of the gathering, from traditional healing ceremonies and civil disobedience to interviews with activists from international anti-nuclear movements. Notable is a session with Oregon high school students, all of whom vow to share their new awareness of nuclear issues with classmates and community back home.


The filmmakers want to distribute "thousands and thousands" of the documentary tapes to school and community groups, hoping that "we get this out to people who have no clue that this is going on around them. We want to start the process of ... questioning authority, and that is a healthy thing."


To obtain a copy of the video, write to Alternatives to Madness, 2790 Wrondel Way #41, Reno, NV 89502, or e-mail Sandina22@aol.com.

Copyright © 2001 HCN and Crystal Mustric