Yellow Cake - The Dirt Behind Uranium

Germany | 2010/2014 | 35 min (Short version) | Documentary
Director: Joachim Tschirner
Original Language: English
Web site:

This new short version of the feature documentary "Yellow Cake. The dirt behind Uranium" focuses on a secret uranium mine in East Germany, that produced for decades yelllow cake for the Sovjet Union's atomic bombs. It was the third largest uranium mine in the world, located in the provinces of Saxony and Thuringia. Operating until the Reunification, it had the code name WISMUT - German for bismuth. The film tells the history of the Wismut and accompanies for several years the first clean-up operation in the history of uranium mining.
Film website:

YELLOW OSCAR, Best Short Documentary, International Uranium Film Festival Rio 2014


YELLOW CAKE is the result of a project, which began in 2002. The World Uranium Hearing took place more than a decade ago.The declaration of this hearing became the essential meaning of my film: “Radioactivity knows nothing of cultural differences or political boundaries. And in a mutated world poisoned by deadly radioactivity, it will no longer be of importance whether we separate our garbage, drive fewer cars, use phosphate free detergent, or plant a tree. Nor will it matter if we spend our time trying to save the elephants. Whatever action we would take at that point would be superfluous and devoid of meaning. That’s why the end of the atomic age must begin with the first link in the chain of nuclear production – The Uranium Mining.”

During my researchs I´ve experienced that despite its explosive nature, uranium mining seldom makes it into public awareness. The film "Yellow Cake" is my reaction to this unacceptable situation. For me it was quite clear that unbiased, well researched information about uranium mining is absolutely necessary. 

Joachim Tschirner Director will be prestent at the Uranium Film Festival, Berlin 2012