The Resource Backs to The Blast

Backs to The Blast

Label
Backs to The Blast
Title
Backs to The Blast
Contributor
Filmmaker
Subject
Summary
This landmark documentary was broadcast on Channel 7 in 1981 and had immediate political impact, mirrored when it was broadcast in Britain on Channel 4. The film helped to trigger both a House of Lords enquiry in Britain and a Royal Commission in Australia chaired by Justice James McClelland. Collated from archival footage and still photographs, radio broadcasts, maps and graphics, plus over 20 interviews, this disturbing documentary has lost none of its power today. With scenes and characters that sometimes seem to have strayed from Dr Strangelove, the film begins by looking at the history of uranium mining in Australia, especially post-war developments at Radium Hill in South Australia. A ghost town when this film was made, Radium Hill flourished in the 1950s, recruiting some 600 mine workers (many "New Australians") to provide uranium ore to the US and the UK. Mountains of radio-active tailings remained after mining ceased in the 1960s - as well as a legacy of cancer and illness for many of the workers. The ore from Radium Hill was taken by rail to Port Pirie (with radio-active tailings used to build the railway track) where the ore was processed prior to being shipped overseas. For years, children played in areas of radio-active waste around the processing plant, and now cancer rates are high. But shocking as these stories may have been in 1981 when the film was released, the film escalates its disclosures about official denial and negligence to tell the story of the British nuclear tests at Maralinga in South Australia from 1945 to 1963. Hundreds of Anangu people from the area were forcibly removed in 1952 to Yalata mission on the coast, and although the area was then claimed to have been "totally devoid" of people, evidence has since proliferated that many Aboriginal people did in fact remain in the area throughout the period of the Atomic Bomb tests. The film also looks at the devastating impact on the health and life expectancy of servicemen and site workers who served at Maralinga. Laced throughout the film are extracts from an extraordinarily frank interview with Sir Ernest Titterton (1916-1990), Professor in Nuclear Physics from the Australian National University, asserting the safety and probity of the Maralinga tests, contrasting strongly with the evidence of witnesses and ground crew involved. Directed by Harry Bardwell
Cataloging source
VDU
Characteristic
videorecording
Date time place
Originally produced by Ronin Films in 1981
Language note
In English
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
  • Bardwell, Harry
  • Kanopy (Firm)
Runtime
49
Technique
live action
Label
Backs to The Blast
Link
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • Title from title frames
  • In Process Record
Antecedent source
unknown
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Configuration of playback channels
unknown
Content category
two-dimensional moving image
Content type code
tdi
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
1 online resource (streaming video file)
File format
unknown
Form of item
online
Level of compression
unknown
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Medium for sound
other
Publisher number
1097311
Quality assurance targets
not applicable
Reformatting quality
unknown
Sound
sound
Sound on medium or separate
sound on medium
Specific material designation
  • other
  • remote
System control number
  • (OCoLC)921958743
  • (CaSfKAN)kan1097311
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Video recording format
other
Label
Backs to The Blast
Link
Publication
Note
  • Title from title frames
  • In Process Record
Antecedent source
unknown
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Configuration of playback channels
unknown
Content category
two-dimensional moving image
Content type code
tdi
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
1 online resource (streaming video file)
File format
unknown
Form of item
online
Level of compression
unknown
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Medium for sound
other
Publisher number
1097311
Quality assurance targets
not applicable
Reformatting quality
unknown
Sound
sound
Sound on medium or separate
sound on medium
Specific material designation
  • other
  • remote
System control number
  • (OCoLC)921958743
  • (CaSfKAN)kan1097311
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Video recording format
other

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    39.697149 -105.013016
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