DIRECTORLewis, Ben
TITLEBlowing Up Paradise
DISTRIBUTORFirst Run/Icarus Films
ISBNn/a
DATE PUBLISHED2005
RUNNING TIME60 minutes


This documentary film chronicles the history of French nuclear testing on the Pacific atoll of Moruroa from 1966 to 1996. The tests were in violation of the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), which bans nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. Using color archival footage and interviews, the film shows how members of the French government, scientists, and nuclear advisors have maintained that the local population was not exposed to harmful doses of radiation from French nuclear testing. In contrast, it depicts the cancer and other health problems that have plagued those who worked in Moruroa and lived in surrounding areas. The area remains a militarized zone and has been described by scientists as a nuclear waste dump in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The film also documents various protests that have occurred and the French government's unsympathetic responses, including the incident involving the French Intelligence Agency and the sabotage of the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in 1985. The film presents the view that while initially the Tahitians were eager to experience the higher standard of living brought by their involvement in nuclear testing, the actual result has been a destabilization of the island's political and social structure.



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