Theater of Cruelty

How many nuclear weapons can withstand the globe? 

We live in a world where a large number of nuclear weapons are ready to be fired. But what does a film artist like Peter Greenaway have to say about it?


Who would think that film artist Peter Greenaway should care about something political like the threat from nuclear weapons? The times I've met this arrogant British, he has always punished people for not understanding the aesthetic-visual. For example, a few years ago when he shouted out in a hall with 1000 people in Amsterdam that almost everyone was visual illiterate! Greenaway still insults people, also in Nyon now in April, where he gave something old-fashioned or too modern to almost the same lecture, again arrogant and slightly simplistic about the state of things in the film: "The movie is almost dead!" The film industry is copying today "Just what you get in the bookstores!" You have to stop creating stories and take into account the film's new technological or digital capabilities. Greenaway is originally a trained painter, something we constantly heard – it is more about what pictures we remember than about the story itself.

From the movie mentioned

So also in the short film Atomic Bombs on the Planet Earth (My 13, 2011, see for excerpts), which Greenaway presented in his masterclass here in April at Visions du Reel in Switzerland, which is a film festival about documentaries. He still mentions French Jean-Luc Godard, which makes me remember an interview I once did with him at Kosmorama in Trondheim: Here I mention Godard, whom he has referred to in several texts. Greenaway glances at me from the deep couch he sits in and up against me on the chair above, bends his head back, looks down the nose – looks down at me from below! – and exclaims: "Godard! Why mention him? You sound like a student! ”Well, I had been running Morgenbladet for a decade, and had relevant questions.

Mushroom clouds. Here in Nyon, Godard is again his role model, and he cites the quote that "film is truth 24 times a second" – that is, the number of images with reality, something the hall's documentaries nod to. Well. Atomic Bombs on the Planet Earth uses in a way single images, or rather short video clips, which are mounted in varying sequences of 4–25 videos simultaneously on the screen. There are film clips from a number of test explosions – such as in the Bikini Islands (see John Pilger's article above), Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Who is aware that over 2000 atomic bombs have been tested during the nearly 50 years that have followed the Hiroshima bomb? Greenaway suggests that the same number may have remained in the "hidden" for the next 25 years until today. Maybe they are more symbols of deterrence than they are "test explosions". But seeing Greenaway present these on top of each other continuously for 13 minutes is hard to digest. No story, just bombs. And the soundscape is stunning, with up to 25 mushroom clouds emerging as documentation. In the background we hear Robert Oppenheimer (the father of the atomic bomb) repeat "You people cried" or "Most people were silent".

After all his aesthetic-visual films, Greenaway has perhaps become more politically conscious with age. Or was he driven by the joy of manipulating all the images, sounds and boyish "toys" with mushroom clouds, colors, dates and names of explosions or the number of megatons that explode? Both and. For Greenaway is afraid of the new mini-nuclear weapons behind the new nuclear arms race. For example, the way China makes underwater drones with nuclear warheads that can appear at the water's edge near the world's major cities. He is concerned with how we forget, how we do not see the military commitment in secret, that we believe that deterrence creates a balance of peace. Here we will almost be forced into a nuclear migraine because of the madness that accompanies these enormous weapons. The film received an honorary award at the International Uranium Film Festival in Rio Janeiro in 2012.

I can promise you, dear reader, that over the next 25 years, a nuclear catastrophe will occur, with the weapons stockpiles of insane world leaders approving.

USA. Unfortunately, the new nuclear race with mini-atomic bombs is already underway. US, Israeli, Chinese and Russian politicians envisage the use of "limited" nuclear weapons. US "hollow" President Obama – who promised a nuclear-weapon-free world in Prague a few years ago – has launched a new $ 1000 billion nuclear-nuclear program. Hillary Clinton recently indicated in an election campaign that she has problems seeing the meaning in this initiative. But who believes her – she who previously warned Iran that they could use nuclear weapons against the country? And from presidential candidate Donald Trump, it reads: "We have a desperate need to modernize our dilapidated nuclear arsenal. It has to happen now. " Trump complains that the military force has dropped from 2 to 1,3 million military in recent years, that the US Navy has halved and that the air force has been cut by a third. Trump almost shouts in the election campaign: "We will use everything we need to rebuild the military!" His hollowness is clear when he points out in one place that there are too many weapons in the world, while in another speech he calls for an investment in nuclear and cyber weapons.

Since the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the United States had limited its nuclear weapons units from 30 to 000, and Russia from 7100 to 40. China reportedly has 000, and North Korea about 7700. We live in a world where a large number of nuclear weapons are ready to be fired.

With so many weapons in the hands of arrogant people in power, it is likely that we will experience a greater catastrophe in our lifetime. Mini-nuclear weapons can fall into the hands of terrorists, be used by our allied states or by enemies. Such a growing arsenal of nuclear weapons in smaller sizes can be tempting to threats and use. We know what radiation comes with such bangs, for example from Chernobyl 30 years ago. I can promise you, dear reader, that over the next 25 years, a nuclear catastrophe will occur, with the weapons stockpiles of insane world leaders approving.

The consequences. The Storting has just considered the nuclear settlement i Recommendation 199 S, on global security challenges in foreign policy. Recently, a number of organizations called for balanced and mutual disarmament with the OEWG (Open-Ended-Working-Group) meeting on nuclear disarmament this month at the UN in Geneva. In Ny Tid, let us repeat the points from Norwegian doctors against nuclear weapons, the Norwegian Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses and the Public Health Association:

A nuclear war could kill far more people in a matter of hours than the number killed during World War II; radioactive fallout from nuclear explosions will cause cancer and disease for several successive generations; use of less than one percent of the world's nuclear arsenals could create global climate disasters with consequent famine for over one billion people; the thousands of nuclear weapons at the disposal of the nuclear powers could trigger a nuclear winter, which would mean a global ecological collapse due to extreme cooling; and: There is no health preparedness that can provide satisfactory help to people who survive a nuclear war.

Then it is mentioned. Which city will be the first to be blown up via a drone? Feel free to watch Greenaway's short film on Ny Tid's website We do not want to give you migraines, but feel the real seriousness that certain Trump-like mythologically driven figures in the West and East are exposing the world to again.

Will a new Cold War rhetoric lead to a nuclear winter?

Click here for more photos and videos

See Pilger's main article.

Truls Lie
Truls Liehttp: /
Editor-in-chief in MODERN TIMES. See previous articles by Lie i Le Monde diplomatique (2003–2013) and Morgenbladet (1993-2003) See also part video work by Lie here.

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