Los Alamos

Secret Savage

Some use the term “savage” to refer to people from primitive cultures, but nuclear experimentation pushed savagery to new levels. In the 1950s, the U.S. conducted 67 atomic and hydrogen bomb tests in the Marshall Islands, vaporizing islands and exposing entire populations to fallout. The islanders on Rongelap received near fatal doses of radiation from one test, and were then moved onto a highly contaminated island to serve as human guinea pigs for 30 years, in an experiment conceived at Los Alamos. Santa Fe’s Adam Horowitz, known locally as the builder of ‘Fridgehenge,’ spent 25 years collecting material–his own footage, archival clips, and unpublished secret documents–to create this unforgettable and ironic portrait of American cynicism, arrogance, and racism. Winner of festival awards in Paris, Chicago and Mexico City.

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