Secrets of the Nuclear Tests

Two-part documentary, 45min. each.

Part 1: “Kasachstan, Soviet Union, 1949 – 1989” (Author: Gerold Hofmann)
Part 2: “Nevada, USA, 1950 – 1992” (Author: Marcus Fischötter)

For decades, the nuclear superpowers USA and Soviet Union have kept the world on alert by testing nuclear weapons over and over again. The military projects were to secret, and the results of the test were kept hidden, too. Not until today can the ublic take a look at the outcome of the nuclear arms race. Authorities still are reluctant to disclose sensitive information or to allow expeditions into forbidden territorities. We now see bizarre landscapes and bitter fates. Voyages to the test sites become discoveries of secret worlds.

For the two-part documentary broadcasted by ARTE, two authors have travelled from germany to the almost unknown the sites of the Cold War. Gerold Hofmann is accompanying a geologist’s expedition to Semipalatinsk, Kasachstan. On what was once the largest test site of the Soviet Union they meet farmers who have stayed in their sheds for decades despite radiation. On the other side of the earth Marcus Fischötter has travelled with a former camera man through the Nevada desert. The camera man, who has filmed tests for years, is returning to his workplace – which is still in use. In both areas, Kasachstan and Nevada, the authors meet people who are labouring under the results of the atomic tests. For them, the nuclear age will never be over.