If You Love This Planet

If You Love This Planet

                                If You Love This Planet
| 25 min

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The NFB’s 7th Academy-Award winning film. This short film is comprised of a lecture given to students by outspoken nuclear critic Dr. Helen Caldicott, president of Physicians for Social Responsibility in the USA. Her message is clear: disarmament cannot be postponed. Archival footage of the bombing of Hiroshima and images of its survivors seven months after the attack heighten the urgency of her message.

This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised

Manifesto Point #7: The social and political goals – and the process itself — are paramount. Ask yourself every day: why are you doing this project? If You Love this Planet could be considered a precursor to An Inconvenient Truth. It’s based on a lecture given by physician and anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott. The film, directed by Terre Nash, went on to win the Oscar for short documentary after being officially designated as "foreign political propaganda" by the U.S. Department of Justice. The film was made at the NFB’s Studio D, the first permanent, state-funded women's film unit in the world, created in 1974. Undoubtedly, the directors and producers were very clear about the question: Why are we making this film?

Katerina Cizek
From the playlist: Manifesto for Interventionist Media - because Art is a Hammer

“It’s appropriate to be passionate” about ridding the world of nuclear weapons. That’s what world-renowned nuclear disarmament activist Helen Caldicott says in this film. It’s interesting that U.S. President Ronald Reagan said the same thing. But Helen means it.

Douglas Roche
From the playlist: The Strength of Peace

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If You Love This Planet, Terre Nash, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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by Reset
  • director
    Terre Nash
  • editing
    Terre Nash
  • producer
    Edward Le Lorrain
  • executive producer
    Kathleen Shannon
  • camera
    André-Luc Dupont
    Susan Trow
    Don Virgo
  • sound
    Jacques Drouin
  • sound editing
    Jackie Newell
  • re-recording
    Jean-Pierre Joutel
  • music
    Karl Duplessis

  • None

    This film, though dated, needs to be shown to Gen Z and Gen Xrs. Climate change is a real threat, but Earth abides and life will go on with or without us. If we have a nuclear holocaust, life on this planet ends for millenia at a minimum. Chernobyl is child's play where nuclear destruction is concerned. Duck and cover, indeed.

    None, 13 Mar 2023
  • frothquaffer

    This film is more relevant now as we enter Cold War II with Putin ramping up production of nukes, increased proliferation and the apparent meltdown of the US deterent: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/are-we-on-the-verge-of-a-nuclear-breakdown-20150618

    frothquaffer, 22 Jun 2015
  • johnno

    war war war it alllll end'S with a NUCLEAR WAR

    johnno, 26 Jun 2012
  • Harrison

    Sixam's claim that this film is "anti-American propaganda" holds more water than the Titanic. The former Soviet Union at the time this film was released would not have allowed access to the kind of information we have about America's strategic strength. Sixam needs to remember two important points before advancing his judgement regarding Dr. Caldicott's motives: One - The United States of America is the only nation on Earth to have used nuclear weapons (and in their defense, the only alternative available to the US and it's allies to end WWII in Japan would have required invasion, which would have been disastrous and claimed a greater loss of life. Two - Remember when President Reagan was preparing before making a radio broadcast speech early in his first term when he uncorked something like this: "...I have decided to outlaw Russia forever...we begin bombing in five minutes." That little error of open mike stupidity didn't exactly engender much confidence in his leadership, insofar as his ability and judgement to supersede "positive control" was concerned. As far as President Carter is concerned, Jimmy attended Annapolis and went on to serve aboard nuclear powered submarines. He knew what was at stake and what was possible (remember Three Mile Island...he went there during the crisis).

    Harrison, 18 Apr 2012
  • sixam

    This is a blatant piece of anti-American propaganda. Whose side is she on anyway? If Carter was re-elected in 1980, would the NFB have made this film? By the way Senator Roche, President Reagan actually signed a few arms reduction treaties.

    sixam, 13 Jul 2011
  • Laje

    I was very moved by this. Dr. Caldicott speaking so many years ago on a subject she still speaks on today just as passionately. Almost 30 years later, and yes the cold war is over, but how far have governments really come in controlling the inherent dangers of nuclear power? It's as though we've all gotten more careless.

    Laje, 25 Jun 2011

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