If You Love This Planet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
If You Love This Planet
If You Love This Planet (film).jpg
Directed byTerre Nash
Produced byEdward Le Lorrain
Music byKarl du Plessis
CinematographyAndré-Luc Dupont
Susan Trow
Don Virgo
Distributed byNational Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Release date
Running time
26 minutes

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.[1]

Released during the term of the Reagan administration and at the height[2] 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.[3][4] 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).[5] CBC Television initially refused to air the film, claiming it was biased.[6] It debuted in the United Kingdom when it was screened by the London Socialist Film Co-op.[7]


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.[8] 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.[8] The film inspired Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s World Peace Tour to reduce nuclear arms.[9] 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.”[8]


Caldicott later wrote a book of the same name, If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth (1992). A new edition of this book was published by W. W. Norton & Company in September 2009.[10]

Radio Program[edit]

Caldicott hosted a weekly radio program called If You Love This Planet from July 2008 to November 2012.[11] 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Canada, National Film Board of, If You Love This Planet, retrieved 2019-03-31
  2. ^ Editors, History com. "Cold War History". HISTORY. Retrieved 2019-03-31.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "CENSORED: Wielding the Red Pen (Online Exhibit)". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  4. ^ Verbinski, Jane (April 1983). "If You Love This Planet Gov't censors pick best short". Jump Cut (28): 64. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. ^ "If You Love This Planet". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  6. ^ Nelson, Joyce (1983). "Film Reviews/Terri Nash's "If You Love This Planet"". Cinema Canada. 0. ISSN 1918-879X.
  7. ^ Matthew Hays, "Montreal Oscar Stories: Two of the city's award-winners reminisce" Archived 2002-08-23 at the Wayback Machine Montreal Mirror, March 21, 1997. Accessed 2008.12.18.
  8. ^ a b c "If You Love This Planet". Helen Caldicott, M.D. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  9. ^ Toronto, Point of View Magazine • 392-401 Richmond Street West •; email, ON • M5V 3A8 • Canada •639-0653 • Send us an. "The World Before Us – Point of View Magazine". povmagazine.com. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  10. ^ "If you love this planet: A plan to heal the earth". Choice Reviews Online. 30 (2): 30–0879. 1992. doi:10.5860/choice.30-0879. S2CID 128697913.
  11. ^ http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/65308

External links[edit]