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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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11 October 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Building Bombs: The Legacy  »

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good topical documentary, banned by PBS
9 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The subject of this Oscar nominated documentary is the mammoth Dupont operated Savannah River nuclear weapons plant in South Carolina, where the mandate to build an effective deterrent to (often imaginary) foreign aggression never took into account the more genuine (and continuing) threat to the local population. Filmmakers Susan Robinson and Mark Mori provide a fascinating history of the American nuclear weapons industry, showing the appalling consequences of bureaucratic negligence, mismanagement, greed, and stupidity, after nearly fifty years of what one congressman candidly (and proudly) admits is a prosperous boon to the economy, rather than a necessary evil of National Defense. One complaint: the presentation is already effective without the obvious, ominous music cues. The film gained some notoriety when it was banned by PBS, supposedly because the viewpoint is so clearly and unapologetically partisan, but more likely because no one wanted to risk offending any corporate sponsors. The narration is by noted actress/activist Jane Alexander.

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