From the Heart of the World


Oras Rimschanow, Wladimir Rerich
Udssr 1990
87 min

Before Chernobyl there was Semipalatinsk - a Soviet nuclear test site that contaminated thousands of local residents. Produced by leading Kazakh filmmakers in the final months of the USSR., <i>Poligon</i> is the first film to reveal the history of Soviet nuclear testing and to expose its many victims. Previously secret footage of Soviet atomic tests and speeches by Soviet leaders are mixed with horrific testimony from residents living near the test site, who vividly display their tragic health problems. Finally, the film portrays the rise of an extraordinary protest movement in Kazakhstan, which forced the closure of the test site in 1991.

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