Filmmaker Robbie Leppzer brings his feature-length documentary film about a fight between citizen activists in Vermont and a major nuclear power company to Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum (COA) @ Alphabet City this Monday.

By Ashlee Green

Photo by Cate Woolner

For the past year and a half, Massachusetts-based filmmaker Robbie Leppzer has been screening his film Power Struggle, which captures the efforts of grassroots activists in Vermont to close down an aging nuclear power plant, throughout New England. This Monday, October 15, he will bring it to COA @ Alphabet City, an event which he hopes will spark a national film tour.

“The issue of nuclear power is not on most peoples’ radar screens,” Leppzer said. “When they watch Power Struggle, the common reaction I get from people is that nuclear power is an urgent issue that should be on people’s radar screens.”

At the age of 18, Leppzer filmed his first documentary, called Seabrook 1977, about a coalition of environmental groups working together to try to stop a nuclear power plant from being built in Seabrook, New Hampshire. The news of the protests went national, and he was hooked on the subject.

“I got an early education about the dangers of nuclear power,” Leppzer said. “The issue of a catastrophic accident happening at a nuclear power plant is always a possibility.”

Power Struggle hits close to home for Leppzer, who said he lives in a small town 18 miles from Vermont Yankee, the nuclear power plant station featured in the film. It showcases the importance of community in social change movements and according to Leppzer, is extremely relevant to what’s happening in today’s political climate.

“In many ways, this film is about democracy and about people affecting change from the grassroots,” Leppzer said.

The Power Struggle screening at COA @ Alphabet City is presented by Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace, a group of diverse organizations and individuals linking art and activism to prevent nuclear war. The film is free and starts at 7 p.m. To R.S.V.P., visit the COA website. A discussion with Leppzer will follow the film. Find out more information at

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