Beating The Bomb

‘Beating the Bomb’ is a feature length documentary that charts the history of the British Peace movement against the political backdrop of the atomic age (1941-present day). The narrative follows the now called ‘nuclear deterrent’, starting at the dawn of the nuclear age in WWII to present day.

The Manhattan Project is initiated fearing a successful bomb project in Nazi Germany. After Germany is defeated, the goalposts of the US project shift. The first successful nuclear detonation in July 1945 is quickly followed by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The effects of these bombings form the moral basis of much of the anti-nuclear movement to this day. This is put in the historic context of the remapping of global power structures at the end of WWII. The bombing and its ‘salutary effect’ (President Truman) on the Soviet Union marks the beginning of the Cold War, which supplies the political backdrop of nuclear proliferation until 1990. Thereafter the political backdrop is supplied by Free Market philosophy.

The spark that turned the British anti-nuclear movement into a broad popular campaign was the Aldermaston marches and the founding of the CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) in 1958. Against the changing background of world politics, the movement has always fought for an end of the British Nuclear Weapons program, which, from its inception was closely tied to the American bomb project and still is to this day.

Leading figures of the Movement take us through 50 years of struggle. In the 1980s, the film covers the Greenham Women’s struggle and the subsequent success of the outlawing of Cruise and Pershing missiles. This is followed is by new generations of nuclear weapons developed all over the globe, with the US – in collaboration with the British – leading the pack. National Missile Defense and the US’ declared aim of ‘dominating the world by land, sea, air and information’ (Vision 2020) is another expression of an arms race that shows no sign of abating.

The challenges of today’s campaign are finally framed within the wider context of resource extraction and wealth distribution. It is widely argued that the pressing issues of the day, from poverty to climate change cannot be tackled without addressing the underlying economic system, which is based on ever increasing growth, which is in turn predicated by ever increasing resource extraction.

Our film evidences the claim that the foundations of our economic system are ‘straight power concepts’. The most straightforward of these concepts being the bomb, both in its physical manifestation and also in the mindset it engenders and stems from. The film argues that global justice will never be achieved as long as vast amounts of natural, financial and intellectual resources squandered on arms proliferation, which spells good news primarily for arms contractors. This status quo did not arise due to self-regulating market forces. 50% of federal US taxes being spent on ‘National Security’. NATO countries account for 70% of the world’s military spending, consequently most of us spend some of our hard-earned money on arms and nuclear proliferation.

The film features, amongst others, interviews with Tony Benn, Mark Thomas, Walter Wolfgang, Helen John, Naomi Klein and Vivienne Westwood. It is not only a piece of revisionist history, but also a tribute to individuals who gave many years of their lives struggling for a better future. Times and times over they attack what Naomi Klein termed ‘the myth of collective impotence’ and stress the fact that it is wrong to think individuals can’t make a difference, on the contrary, it is only individuals who can make a difference. The film is an attempt to mediate their conviction and thus inspire the viewer.

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One Response to "Beating The Bomb"

  1. Iorenzo  February 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Seriously ?

    Statement : modern technologies begins in Germany.

    Start : USA , for the deniers.

    14′ : Military : kids with toys.

    16’05 , quote.

    17’25 xD

    The vintage call it whatever-propaganda around 19′ : OMG.

    1 man, 20′

    21’20 : Do I see Israel an Indai ? Isn’t wrong not to sign ?

    Shouldn’t we worry more about those than Iran ?

    23′ , please US , let go… the losses.
    It’s about how much energy you waste to stay in position of

    power when you’r in decline for such a long time.
    Increasing area of influence and driving it into the samm

    massive insane comsuption of ressources.

    Otherwise, the cultural and innovative influences that goes with

    position of power could have been transfered.

    Where are we now?

    25’40 : To europeans , if it had happen then. Enjoy your

    imagination to what your countries would look like.

    32’40 : Seriously?
    I need to know we are THIS stupid ? “lost” what do you mean you

    ” lost ” a nuclear bomb?

    Man and now whith privatized army, such a fun day. Mercennaries

    still on the roll.
    When I think about the words commin’ out of


    … 33’33 :-(

    36′ garbage disposal. Purely illogic when you want to occupy the

    land. An major hypocrisis if you pretend you’r there for the

    people. And , no wonder “locals” sees you as Satan if your

    expansions scheme is built as a leech.

    37 , Wikit@

    38’20 , F’ck! I wonder why I watch this shit ? Tell me about a

    happy place and feeling better.

    I get a glimpse at why some persons who don’t want kids. erk.

    39′ Still well summarized.
    Lovely maps.

    40′ Counting on you guyz.

    And listen.


    42′ seemed accurate , how real is it?

    Such a dick’ ,lol

    44’58 ” That sort of stuff” she knows who’s she’s addressong.

    46’40 Is any annoyed when he sees a circling pattern?

    48 I have a problem when you express that idea.

    I think that hates towards US is at such a high level allready

    it should be temepred wisely.

    I know now why I wondered why I watch this.

    49’36 . About economy it’s the same : the system (

    economic/politic ) has grown wrong. It’s taking risks that can

    destroy himself.

    50’50 Who didn’t saw this at 20’20 ?

    52’30 Straight to real life impact.

    53′ Heureusement qu’il y a de la musique.

    55′ ?

    “The root for solving this exists, it can be pursued, it can be

    done. ”

    57’25 another sum up of the ct illuminate&co

    58’30 Did they really threathened to Bomb it? Like in Uncle Sam

    would be all freakin out and ” Boom we blow up a weapon on an

    european high-tech device !! ”

    Just coz we don’t like others to have the same toys as we do???

    Kiddin’ me there bro ?
    You think you can do that? You didn’t forget what you build in

    here , did you?

    * You can read , for those who cares , that this is mainly

    making me feel nervous.

    Seriously, do you believe “not thinking about it” is a way to



    60′ Computer based technologies are such a blessing.

    Note : I’m pro shield, In the occurrance of a global nuclear

    damaged I’d rather have at least a piece of the land somewhat


    I don’t give shit about which part it belongs to. Such won’t

    matters thereafter anyway.

    62′ interresting,

    63′ Please refer to previous documentary on impossible everending growth.


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