Saturday, June 23, 2007
My first film was an experimental film about my experiences in Europe after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. I was visiting a friend Gisella Schultz in Lausanne on the border of Germany and Switzerland when it happened. I was five months pregnant and became extremely ill. At first my partner and friend thought I was overreacting to the hysteria around the fall out, but in fact I ended up being admitted to hospital with a kidney infection and was there for several days. I was in a ward with a non-English speaking woman and had a doctor whose command of English was a one year sabbatical he had taken 12 years previously in America. So, you know, I had reason to freak out! Women who were pregnant were being told to have abortions and every scientist was on television giving conflicting advice to people. The markets were suddenly selling fresh produce from Chile, when the day before the signs had said 'local and organic'. People didn't know what to do and there was a rush to the supermarkets for packaged food. The organic farmers and alternative lifestylers were confronted by contaminated produce and the economy was in a state of shock. What made me most nervous was the fact that noone seemed to agree what people should do. Stay home, wipe your feet when you come in from outdoors - don't go out unless you really have to and so on. But really folks - noone really knows what to do in a nuclear disaster. Bear this in mind when you're considering the upcoming debate on nuclear energy in this country.