Friday, August 8, 2014

Navajo film featured at Berlin Uranium Film Festival

By Brenda Norrell
Indigenous Resistance

‘Dii’go To Baahaane, Four Stories about Water’ will be featured at the International Uranium Film Festival in Berlin, Sept. 29 -- Oct 3, 2014. Berlin is the latest venue for the Dine' (Navajo) film being shown during the festival which is being held in locations around the world. 
The film Dii'go to Baahaane, Four Stories about Water , 37 minutes, exposes the devastating impacts of uranium mining on Dine’ and the poisoning of their water with radioactive waste.


Church Rock, N.M. was site of one of the largest uranium tailings spills in the US, and the radioactive contamination continued for years to poisoning Navajos and others who lived along the Rio Puerco, flowing from New Mexico toward Flagstaff, Arizona. 
The radioactive contamination from uranium mining was not isolated to this area. Radioactive tailings on the western side of the Navajo Nation, from Cameron to Kayenta, Ariz., and in the Four Corners area of Red Valley and Cove, near Shiprock, NM., were left strewn, poisoning Navajos for decades and leaving a trail of death.
Today, thousands of radioactive tailings remain in Navajo communities, and radioactive rocks are strewn around homes. During the Cold War, the corporations first sent Navajos to their deaths in the uranium mines without protective clothing. Then, the corporations through various maneuvers avoided being held responsible for the trail of death.
Today, in the same area of Church Rock, N.M., where the deadly spill occurred, Navajos are once again fighting plans for new uranium mining targeting their aquifer and drinking water. Nearby, the Pueblos were also left with a trail of death from uranium mining. They breathed the radioactive dust as they worked, and their food was contaminated with it. Their livestock, too, was contaminated as the winds blew through the region, and the waterways were poisoned.
The film, ‘Tailings,’ will also be shown at the Berlin Film Festival, which exposes more of the poisoning of the region. Tailings, 12 minutes, exposes the 200-acre pile of radioactive tailings, left behind in the dump near Grants, N.M., in the region between the Navajo Nation and Laguna and Acoma Pueblos in northwest New Mexico.
The International Uranium Film Festival in Berlin will be held at the Babylon cinema, Sept. 29 to Oct 03. 2014. The festival said, "New and spectacular movies, animations and documentaries about nuclear power, atomic bombs, uranium mining and nuclear accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima. Several international filmmakers will be present. Also planned are special screenings about Depleted Uranium Weapons and round tables with experts, activists and filmmakers."

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