Highlighting the Santa Susana nuclear meltdown and how it affected the residents that were close by to it, Stacey Stone and Diane Mellen return with another enthralling documentary. This is The Golden Rule.
We have had the absolute privilege of watching and reviewing a few documentaries from Stacey Stone and Diane Mellen in the past, such as The Man Behind 55,000 Dresses, Gander: America’s Hero Dog, and My Own War. All of the aforementioned films scored highly with ourselves at Screen Critix and left an impression. The Golden Rule is no exception as Stone and Mellen have again created an interesting and well-made movie.
Coming in at just over one hour in runtime, The Golden Rule takes a look at the devastating nuclear incident at Santa Susana in 1959 and how it is still affecting people today. How children with cancer due to these nuclear plants are not given a thought compared to the profits that these big businesses seek. We meet many residents affected by the disaster, including Melissa Bumstead – a brave woman whose eight-year-old daughter Grace has suffered from cancer twice. She is demanding the site of Santa Susana to be cleaned. Through Melissa, we get to learn some shocking information regarding the people of Santa Susana, such as they have 60% higher rates of cancer within a couple of miles of the site.
Much like a Michael Moore movie, Stacey Stone highlights important issues that demand action, and she does so in such a way that you can’t help be moved. The Golden Rule jumps from talking-head interviews to informative graphic cards stating facts such as “There are more than 1700 Superfund hazard sites in the US”, then to a more “day in the life” aspect of shooting subjects that are affected by the topic. It’s a professional way of creating documentaries and it keeps the viewer from never losing concentration. Stone also adds some old news reports into the mix, all of which are very informative.
The cinematography is all well done, especially for a documentary. We have seen many documentaries here at Screen Critix over the years. Some filmmakers just opt for talking heads, but Stone makes sure that when they are filming a subject, especially when seeing them go about their day-to-day life, the camera is always moving and the editing, which is top-notch, is fast-paced and interesting.
Overall, Stacey Stone and Diane Mellen have again crafted an enthralling and professionally made documentary. We are not sure when The Golden Rule will be readily available for all to watch, but when it is, make sure you set yourself enough time to view it. You’ll find it both interesting and shocking in equal measure.