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Silent Storm (2003)

  Directed by: Peter Butt
Written by: Peter Butt
Starring: Bille Brown
Links: Silent Storm on the IMDb
Genre: Documentary
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Documentary 2003 (nominee)

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Like something out of a sci-fi crime movie" - a review by pearly

In the 50s, 60s and 70s, nuclear testing took place in numerous locations around Australia. Scientists then tried to determine whether or not the blasts were causing any issues to the land or its inhabitants, and if so, how far reaching these effects were.

Part of this involved taking bones from dead Australian people (especially children) in order to test for the levels of Strontium 90, which has since been linked to cancer. These tests were done without the permission of the next of kin.

At the same time, a scientist named Hedley Marston (portrayed by Bille Brown) was trying to lift the lid on what he thought were the dangers of the nuclear testing, and the lies that were being told to the Australian public. Silent Storm puts all the pieces of this complicated puzzle together to explain Marston's role in ending the nuclear tests, and discovering just what harm they were doing to Australian people, animals, and so on.

Silent Storm paints Marston as a hero who was persecuted for not towing the line. It depicts him writing letters standing up to his bosses and to people who are not willing to listen to his warnings, but it doesn't really show whether or not he had knowledge about the secret bone sampling or not (this may have come later). It is hard to know exactly why things progressed the way they did, but Silent Storm shows one side of the story.

It is certainly frightening to watch, and even disregarding the bad decisions made by the governments, it highlights just how far-flung the effects of nuclear testing can be - especially if the wind kicks up in the wrong direction at the wrong point in time.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 2 Oct 2003

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