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Buried at Sea

2006
Distributed by National Film Board of Canada, 1123 Broadway, Suite 307, New York, NY 10010; 800-542-2164
Produced by Arcadia Entertainment in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada
Directed by John Wesley Chisholm
DVD, color, 52 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Environmental Studies


Reviewed by Barbara Butler, University of Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 4/25/2008

This documentary chronicles ocean disposal of surplus World War II chemical weapons by Canada, Germany, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States.

Through a well edited combination of interview footage and still photographs this film outlines the serious problem that awaits us now that hundreds of thousands of tons of chemical weapons have been disposed of off our coastlines. The exact location of dumps was not always recorded on navigation charts. Sixty years later, containers that were designed to last for fifty years have started to disintegrate, posing substantial danger to both marine life and coastal communities.

There are a number of other films addressing ocean waste disposal and marine pollution but none this current that specifically address chemical weapon dumps. Be warned, this film is not for the squeamish. Viewers learn how mustard gas, a combination of chlorine and sulfur, was developed and see clips of this weapon being tested on both animals as well as soldiers in the field. We also see pictures of diverís skin lesions after exposure to leaking mustard gas containers. The editors have done nothing to sensationalize the story, and the problem is accurately portrayed but it is sometimes a challenge to watch.

Recommended for high school, college and public libraries.