Atomic Ed and the Black Hole

Atomic Ed and the Black Hole
Directed by Ellen Spiro
Produced by

Ellen Spiro

Karen Bernstein
Cinematography Ellen Spiro
Edited by Karen Skloss
Distributed by HBO/Cinemax Documentary
Release date
  • 2001 (2001)
Running time
40 minutes

Atomic Ed and the Black Hole is a documentary released in 2001 by filmmaker, Ellen Spiro. The documentary was made for HBO's Cinemax Reel Life Series. Sheila Nevins served as Executive Producer and Lisa Heller served as Supervising Producer. Karen Bernstein served as Producer. Laurie Anderson provided her song, Big Science, for the soundtrack.

Ed Grothus (“Atomic Ed”) is a machinist-turned-atomic junk collector who more than 30 years ago quit his job of making atomic bombs and began collecting non-radioactive high-tech nuclear waste discarded from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Atomic Ed is the proprietor of “The Black Hole”, a second-hand shop and, next door, curator of the unofficial museum of the nuclear age. His collection reveals and preserves the history of government waste that was literally thrown in a trash heap.

Awards and festival screenings

  • Best Documentary Short, South by Southwest Film Festival, 2001
  • Audience Award and Judges Competition First Place Award, Alibi Short Film Fiesta, Albuquerque, 2001
  • Melbourne International Film Festival, 2001
  • Hot Springs International Film Festival, 2001
  • Peace and Justice Filmmaker's Award, 2001
  • San Francisco Documentary Festival, 2001
  • SITE Santa Fe, 2001.


See also


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