Built by the US government to house the Hanford nuclear site workers who manufactured weapons-grade plutonium for the Manhattan Project, Richland, Washington is proud of its heritage as a nuclear company town and proud of the atomic bomb it helped create. RICHLAND offers a prismatic, placemaking portrait of a community staking its identity and future on its nuclear origin story, presenting a timely examination of the habits of thought that normalize the extraordinary violence of the past. Moving between archival past and observational present, and across encounters with nuclear workers, community members, archeologists, local tribes, and a Japanese granddaughter of atomic bomb survivors, the film blooms into an expansive and lyrical meditation on home, safety, whiteness, land, and deep time.
"with curiosity and care, Richland peers into the heart of a small town, acknowledges the joys, and brings the pain and loss and broken promises into the light."
- The Hollywood Reporter
“a thought-provoking and important documentary that is unafraid to lay bare how people embrace destruction if there is a place for them inside it."
- The Wrap
"a complexly empathetic experience that plunges us into memory and consequences."
- Filmmaker Magazine
"Irene Lusztig's quiet meditation of a film examines a community stoically resistant to change"
- CBS News
"a gently probing portrait of a diverse community that is as American as, well, nuclear bombs."
- Hammer to Nail