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14 days

26'

Canada, 1982

Production : ONF / NFB

English, French


Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film 1983


Environment



Synopsis


This Oscar®-winning short film is comprised of a lecture given to students by outspoken nuclear critic Dr. Helen Caldicott, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility in the USA. Her message is clear: disarmament cannot be postponed. Archival footage of the bombing of Hiroshima and images of its survivors seven months after the attack heighten the urgency of her message.

A word from Tënk


“The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”

 

This quote from Albert Einstein is echoed in the words of physicist and anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott, addressing the children of the atomic age at a conference in 1982. Cut through with archival images of mushroom clouds, disturbing photos of people with radiation burns, her speech is raw, profoundly alarmist, emotional, what she would later call feminine, its sensationalist tone reflecting the fears of an era struggling with widespread nuclear anxiety. Schools ran drills to prepare students for a nuclear attack where they were taught to hide under their desks, put on gas masks, and cover their heads with a piece of paper.

 

As we listen, it’s hard not to wonder how humanity could still exist given these growing risks of “overextermination.”

 

If You Love This Planet is a short film on actions proposed by a fervent activist and renowned scientist on a mission to open the eyes of both the government and her colleagues. She went on to found the Women’s Party for Survival, as she was of the opinion that women are more sensitive and emotional in the face of this type of issue, and therefore more inclined towards collective action.

 

Now more than ever, Caldicott continues to sound the alarm and publishes daily on her eponymous blog.

 

Gabrielle Ouimet
Tënk's Artistic Director

 

 

 

Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4