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The Screen Guide

BACKS TO THE BLAST documents Australia's nuclear industrial history from the time that radium ore was first mined in 1910 to the present day. Using a combination of archival footage and contemporary interviews with workers, scientists and politicians, the film presents a shocking indictment of the nuclear industry in Australia. With its vast deposits of uranium, Australia has been involved in the development of nuclear technology from the start. After the Second World War when Britain entered the nuclear arms race, Australia was treated as a remote atomic laboratory. Nuclear weapons made from Australian uranium were substantially developed and tested in Maralinga, SA. It is thought that over 20 atomic devices were detontated on this site during the 1950s and early '60s, with little apparent regard for either the Australian population or environment.

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Harry Bardwell
Harry Bardwell  Dasha Ross
Harry Bardwell

Production Details

Production Completion
History and national identity, Social contemporary


International Sales
Australian Film Institute Distribution