Films / Nuclear Savage
USA | Documentary Feature | 2011 | 87 min | Website
Director: Adam Jonas Horowitz
Awards: Premiered at the Int’l Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam-IDFA, Audience award Best Film Cinema Planeta Mexico, Jury Prize Documentary Exposé Chicago, Jury Prize Best Feature Documentary FIFE Paris
Film source: Primordials Soup Company
Adam Jonas Horowitz is not only the fearless producer, director, writer, cameraman, and editor of this utterly devastating documentary film, he is also a renowned conceptual artist, sculptor and installation artist whose monumental public art installation “Fidgehenge,” built in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has received wide international attention. Nuclear Savage is not the first film by this multitalented artist. Home on the Range, a human rights documentary, was broadcast on the PBS series, Independent Lens and on the Japanese network NHK. Nuclear Savage was also produced with assistance from PBS and the Kindle Project.
When the filmmaker shot his first film in the Marshall Islands, this former American military colony in the Middle of the Pacific, in 1986, he found radioactive coconuts, leaking nuclear waste repositories, and densely populated slums, all the direct result of 67 nuclear bomb tests that were part of the U.S. Cold War strategy. These tests vaporized whole islands and decimated entire populations. The indigenous peoples who inhabited what had been an island paradise were considered subhuman “primitives” and were studied as guinea pigs to document the effects of nuclear fallout on human beings for over three decades by American scientists and doctors. The results are beyond devastating.
The film is factual. It is a true detective story that relies on recently declassified U.S. government documents, heartbreaking survivor testimony and previously unseen archival footage. To be confronted with evidence that Americans committed atrocities that are comparable to those inflicted on victims of the Nazi medical tests of WWII is a bitter pill to swallow. It also makes the distribution of such a film a real challenge. Canadian and European festivals have taken the most serious interest in the project. It has been more difficult finding venues in the U.S. While the film was funded in part by PBS, the network still has not decided whether to broadcast the film. -C.C.
Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 01:30 PM | ECHO’s Revision Lakeside Pavilion
Includes: A discussion with the film’s Director, Adam Horowitz.