"Atomic Homefront" (2017 release; 90 min.) is a documentary about a massive nuclear waste site right in the middle of the northern St. Louis suburbs, and how it is affecting the surrounding communities. As the movie opens, we are in "North St. Louis County, Missouri" and a maintenance guy is checking the grounds for elevated levels of radioactivity. We soon learn that back in the early 1940s, the US government chose St. Louis to process and store various nuclear waste, and that the nuclear waste was stored in a huge open air site. Now 6-7 decades on, there is an alarming rise in people getting sick, and/or getting cancer and/or dying. Several concerned citizens are banding together, and are looking for answers and accountability... At this point we are 10 min. into the film, but to tell you more of the events in the film would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest film directed by longtime documentarian Rebecca Cammisa, whose previous work includes the excellent "Which Way Home". Here she investigates and documents the ineptitude and outright criminal negligence of "the government" (including at the local, state and federal level) on dealing with this matter. First of all, whose bright idea was it to store nuclear waste in a major METROPOLITAN area? Second, why weren't people who were buying houses in the nearby communities (Coldwater Creek, Bridgeton) told anything about the nuclear waste site located less than a mile away? Third, why are so many instances of authorities (including the state and federal EPA, among others) outright skirting their duties, apparently without any negative consequences? And on and on. This is sure to make your blood boil in disbelief and disgust. When another contingency plan looks untested and/or suspicious, one concerned citizen asks "what is the contingency for the contingency plan?", to the applause of other meeting attendants, while the government official just stands there, unable to respond in any way. In the end, your heart goes out to these communities who have been lied to, misled, and completely abandoned by those that are supposed to protect these communities.
It's been about 18 months since filming was completed and it's unfortunate that we don't know what has happened since then. I recently caught this on HBO On Demand, and was transfixed from start to finish. If you are interested in learning more about a nuclear waste site improbably located in a heavily populated area (I mean, you can't make this up!), I'd readily suggest you check this out on VOD, and draw your own conclusion.