USA | 2012 | 87 min | Documentary
Director: : Adam Jonas Horowitz
Original Language: Marshallese & English | Subtitles: French / Spanish
Featuring recently declassified U.S. government documents, survivor testimony, and unseen archival footage, Nuclear Savage uncovers one of the most troubling chapters in modern American history: how Marshall islanders, considered an uncivilized culture, were deliberately used as human guinea pigs to study the effects of nuclear fallout on human beings.
Between 1946 and 1958 the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons above ground on or near Bikini and Enewetok atolls. The hydrogen bomb was 1000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. Entire islands were vaporized and populated islands were blanketed with fallout. As the film shows, the heavily exposed people of Rongelap were then enrolled as human subjects in the top-secret Project 4.1 and evacuated to a severely contaminated island to study the effects of eating radioactive food for nearly 30 years. Many of the Marshall Islanders developed cancers and had babies that were stillborn or with serious birth defects.
Nuclear Savage follows the islanders today as they continue to fight for justice and acknowledgement of what was done to them. Despite recent disclosures, the U.S. government continues to deny that the islanders were deliberately used as human guinea pigs. The film raises disturbing questions about racism, the U.S. government’s moral obligation to the people of the Marshall Islands, and why the government is continuing to cover up the intent of the tests and Project 4.1 after several decades.
AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Film Cinema Planeta International Festival, Mexico
JURY PRIZE, Best Feature Documentary, Paris/FIFE International Festival of Environmental Films
JURY PRIZE, Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival
YELLOW OSCAR, Best Feature Documentary, International Uranium Film Festival Rio 2013
Best Feature Documentary 2013
The November 2011 released documentary "NUCLEAR SAVAGE: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1" by US-Filmmaker Adam Jonas Horowitz is extraordinary. A brilliant accusation against a terrible crime. Atmospheric testing of atomic bombs and using local populations as guinea pigs are crimes against humanity. Nuclear Savage is a must-see documentary for everybody, no matter if your are in favour of nuclear power or against. Adam Jonas Horowitz shot his first film in the Marshall Islands in 1986, and was shocked by what he found there, in this former American military colony in middle of the Pacific Ocean. Radioactive coconuts, leaking nuclear waste repositories and densely populated slums were all the direct result of 67 Cold War U.S. nuclear bomb tests that vaporized islands and devastated entire populations.
The film has won numerous awards in international film festivals, including the JURY PRIZE in Paris at the Festivales Internationales des Films Environmentales, as well as the AUDIENCE AWARD for BEST FEATURE FILM at the CinemaPlaneta International Film Festival in Mexico City and Cuernavaca, Mexico. The film also won a JURY PRIZE at the World Peace Intl. Film Festival in Chicago, and was nominated for BEST ENVIRONMENTAL FILM at IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam. The film has received many favorable reviews, including the Hollywood Film newspaper Variety.