If You Love This Planet
|If You Love This Planet|
|Directed by||Terre Nash|
|Produced by||Edward Le Lorrain|
|Music by||Karl du Plessis|
|Distributed by||National Film Board of Canada (NFB)|
If You Love This Planet is a 1982 short documentary film recording a lecture given to SUNY Plattsburgh students by physician and anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott about the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. The movie was directed by Terre Nash and produced by Edward Le Lorrain for Studio D, the women's studio of the National Film Board of Canada. Studio D head Kathleen Shannon was executive producer.
Released during the term of the Reagan administration and at the height of Cold War nuclear tensions between the United States and Soviet Union, If You Love This Planet was officially designated as "foreign political propaganda" by the United States Department of Justice and temporarily banned. The subsequent uproar over that action gave the film a publicity boost, and it later won the 1982 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). CBC Television initially refused to air the film, claiming it was biased. It debuted in the United Kingdom when it was screened by the London Socialist Film Co-op.
The film goes into depth describing in easy-to-understand language the scientific and medical consequences of ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect, deforestation, toxic chemical pollution, species extinction, food contamination, nuclear waste, and the constant threat of nuclear warfare. A physician by training, Caldicott prescribes a cure and cause for hope. She suggests that individuals organize politically, learn energy efficiency, and hold corporations and governments accountable. She argues that love for the Earth itself should be the greatest strength in our fight for the planet. The film inspired Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s World Peace Tour to reduce nuclear arms. The film was loved and reviewed by newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, East Bay Express, and The Seattle Times. The film also received praise from activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein, and actress Meryl Streep has said that “Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out.”
Caldicott hosted a weekly radio program called If You Love This Planet from July 2008 to November 2012. The program was first aired by Pacifica Foundation station KPFT in Houston, and played weekly on dozens of American., Canadian, and Australian radio stations. The series focused on the threats to human survival posed by nuclear weapons, nuclear power, global warming, pollution, deforestation, and other public health issues.
- Eight Minutes to Midnight: A Portrait of Dr. Helen Caldicott, a 1981 feature-length documentary film
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