Radio Bikini

(1987)

Radio Bikini is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning (and Oscar nominated) documentary film about the greatest operation to test nuclear weapons ever conducted by the United States. Staged at a remote Pacific atoll called Bikini in the summer of 1946, the tests (code-named Operation Crossroads) were also one of the first great ‘media events’ of the modern age. Using rare and mostly never-before-seen archival footage, the film unfolds through the eyes of the elderly chief of the Bikinians, Kilon Bauno, and a former American serviceman, John Smitherman, who was there. Radio Bikini combines ‘live’ radio broadcasts from Bikini in 1946 with footage of the entire operation, recreating a feeling of the event as it happened in a way that is both haunting and surreal. As the drama of this bizarre experiment unfolds, we witness glimpses of the U.S. Government’s never-completed attempt to produce a propaganda film about it. Ultimately, RADIO BIKINI is an allegorical portrait of a naive world at the dawn of a new era.

16mm | Color and B&W | 56 minutes