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After the Apocalypse by Antony Butts to hit the screens in May

26 april 2011, 17:20
0
August 29, 1949. First nuclear test in the USSR. Semipalatinsk testing polygon.
August 29, 1949. First nuclear test in the USSR. Semipalatinsk testing polygon.
After the Apocalypse film about Semipalatinsk is produced, filmed and directed by British film-maker Antony Butts who has been in and out of Semipalatinsk for four years to record the shocking episodes from the lives of people living close to the world's largest former nuclear test site, Radio Azattyq reports.

World premiere theatrical release of After the Apocalypse will take place on Wednesday 11th May, 6.30 p.m. at the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square in Britain.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with key Genetic and Ethical experts: Baroness Helena Kennedy – former Head of the Human Genetics Commission, Professor Yuri Dubrov – Professor of Genetics at the University of Leicester and Steve Wilkinson, Professor of Medical Ethics at Keele University.

The film won’t be screened in Kazakhstan because Antony Butts promised to the lead character Bibigul that her home country would not see the film.

Before recording the film Butts visited a village near the former test site with Geiger counter and went to special facilities for outcast children who were born disabled after nuclear tests in Semipalatinsk.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev stopped the tests in 1989 and closed the USSR test site shortly after Kazakhstan obtained Independence in 1991. However the devastating human and environmental consequences of the tests still remain.

The stories of some of the people Antony Butts met and filmed are heartbreaking. Many of the children he filmed and interviewed have since died, he says.

Antony Butts is an award-winning TV documentary filmmaker specializing in human rights and environmental issues. He recently won an Amnesty International Media Award for his reportage on the ongoing violence in the Russian republic of Ingushetia.

Butts created an After the Apocalypse website where he compares the consequences of tests in the nuclear Semipalatinsk polygon with disasters that hit Chernobyl, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is a rubric at the website called Help Semipalatinsk where one can find out about way to render direct financial help to the people in the film such as Bibigul.

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