Children of Uranium / Copiii Uraniului (2009)

Original title: Copiii Uraniului
English title: Children of Uranium
Director: Adina Popescu, Iulian Ghervas
Produced by: Libra Film Productions In co-production with Hai-Hui Entertaiment
Production year: 2009
Length: 64 min
Genre: Documentary
Production status: Released

There are several legends about the discovery of the uranium ore deposits from Baita. Some of them say that Soviet would have been accidentally discovered the ore in the early 50’s. Others say that the Germans were informed about its existence and they even built an acces road. It is said that if the Germans would have had enough time to exploit the ore, the faith of the war and the world would have been diffrent. Or maybe not

In the 50’s, the Russians discovered a rich uranium deposit in the Apuseni Mountains. Shortly after, they developed a small city nearby and proceeded with the masive exploitation of the ore. The main objective: TO support the Soviet military nuclear program. Almost two thousand Romanian miners were workind day and night, around the clock, in three shifts. There was no concern for the labor or environmental protection. Most of the mine’s employees didn’t even know they were extracting uranium, thinking it was quartz.

The “Avram Iancu” mine was closed in 1998 due to environmental concerns. In 2008, the settlement is ailing. From the laborers of those times, few are alive. There are only 20 families living in the village – a small and poor community in a place that seems devastated by atomic bombing. Even though the mine is closed, the traces of uranium can be found everywhere. The radiation level is high.

There is ore everywhere: locals can find pieces in the road dust, children play in soil with a radiation level much above the allowed threshold.

Director: Adina Popescu, Iulian Ghervas
Scriptwriter: Adina Popescu, Iulian Ghervas
Producer: Tudor Giurgiu
DOP: Adrian Calev
Editing: Monica Hauler Szasz
Sound design: Sorin Bodai
With the support of The National Centre of Cinematography - Romania and the Romanian Television Society
ASTRA Film Festival - Sibiu, Romania, 2009 - Best Research Award
Transilvania International Film Festival TIFF - Cluj-Napoca, Romania 2010 - ECO TIFF

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