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Atomic Journeys: Welcome To Ground Zero (1999)

Cast: William Shatner
Director: Peter Kuran, Peter Kuran
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Goldhil Home Media
Genre: Documentary, Military
Running Time: 52 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Synopsis
Peter Kuran, the award-winning creator of Trinity and Beyond, explores the secret history of U.S. nuclear test sites in his documentary Atomic Journeys: Welcome to Ground Zero. In a cinematic tour of previously unknown sites from Alaska to Mississippi, the film documents the detonation of over 900 atomic and hydrogen bombs to explore the use of nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes. A variety of tests performed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission under Projects "Plowshare" and "Vela Uniform" studied the use of nuclear weapons in canal and harbor building as well as in detecting seismic signals. "Atomic Journeys" examines the history of the testing, the environmental changes caused by the detonations, and the condition of the former test sites. A highlight of the film is a trip to the Nevada test site, the most bombed place on earth. ~ Kathleen Wildasin, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Not that much here by sbfisher August 10, 2007 - 11:21 PM PDT
12345678910
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This documentary simply shows footage of atomic explosions, gives a very small amount of history about when/where they took place has some atomic scientists from places like Lawrence Livermore labs commenting on the past projects in a dispassionate way.

There is no particular viewpoint presented and the history of the US atomic program isn't even particularly completely presented (no real mention of Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, for example). This is simply footage and rather neutral interviews.

When you look at the blatant disregard for nuclear fallout and radiation with some of the projects you have to ask "What were they thinking?" Things like using nuclear weapons to cut holes in mountains for roadways or to bomb natural gas from the ground seem patently ridiculous due to contamination and fallout concerns. Still the documentary never hints at any judgment or takes any viewpoint on the tests aside from a footnote that a 5 Megaton underground explosion under an island in Alaska was what prompted Greenpeace to form.

Perhaps the horror and ridiculousness of the situations are obvious enough, anyway. Still, it would've been nice to feel that this short documentary was more than an assemblage of footage with a few talking heads.

It is disturbing and horrifying because of the subject matter, but quite matter of fact and unexciting in presentation.




GreenCine Member Rating
12345678910

(Average 7.50)
8 Votes
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