Film: "Helen’s War: A Portrait of a Dissident"

September 25, 2008 - 12:30am
Stanley A. Milner Library
Free Admission

Film will be introduced with a brief overview of the context of nuclear energy in Alberta, and a short discussion to follow.

Flim Synopsis

Helen’s War: A Portrait of a Dissident
Directed by: Anna Broinowski
(Australia, 2004, 52 min.)

Dr Helen Caldicott, firebrand anti-nuclear campaigner, celebrated author and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is too alarmed to retire.

Certain that the White House's War on Terror is escalating the global nuclear arms race, she embarks on an explosive crusade across post 9/11 USA, armed with her fifth book, "The New Nuclear Danger", and a furious determination to rally the American people against Star Wars and the new nuclear weapons labs before it is too late.

Tagging along is Caldicott's jaded niece, filmmaker Anna Broinowski, a post-punk fatalist who believes that nukes are inevitable and wonders whether a straight talking dissident like Helen really can make a difference in George W. Bush's 'Land of The Free'.

Set against the volatile backdrop of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, Helen's War tracks Caldicott's roller-coaster tour as she vies with spin-savvy neo-conservatives for airtime, courts celebrity backers for her DC think-tank and battles to stop the bombing of Baghdad. We discover the vulnerable, humorous,passionate woman behind the crusade and what it really costs to fight for Peace.

"They can lock me up in Guantanamo Bay if they want to, I don't care. It will be great publicity for the book."
— Dr. Helen Caldicott.

Awards: Best Documentary (Dendy Award) 2004 Sydney Film Festival; Best Direction (Documentary) 2004 AFI Awards.

"The winning documentary is an exceptional film."
— Bob Connolly, Judge, Sydney Film Festival Dendy Awards.
"[4 STARS]"
— Paul le Petit, Sunday Telegraph.
"Electrifying... A terrific account of one woman's attempt to use the name of science against the destructive uses of science."
— The Australian
"This is a finely crafted documentary, and, even if we cannot follow Caldicott's extremism at times, we can but stand in awe of her resolve."
— Sunday Telegraph
— Alexa Moses, Metro Magazine
"A fabulous documentary that works simultaneously as psychobiography (Caldicott grew up in an atmosphere of intellectual rigour and rage) and socio-political snapshot... Making this documentary was clearly difficult for both subject and filmmaker, but the results are stunning."
— Greg Hassall, Sydney Morning Herald
"A fractious affair in which subjectivity and objectivity collide. The resulting fusion might just be what is needed as an antidote to the neo-con mindset that has America in its squirrel grip."
— Doug Anderson, Sydney Morning Herald.

These events organized by Sierra Club Prairie Chapter & Council of Canadians Prairie Region, with co-sponsorship by the Environmental Research & Studies Centre (University of Alberta), Mountain Equipment Co-op, Project Ploughshares, the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG) & the Edmonton Small Press Association.

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For more info or media interviews:

Sierra Club Prairie
[email protected]

Council of Canadians Prairie
[email protected]

Edmonton Small Press Association
[email protected]


Stanley A. Milner Library
7 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW
Edmonton , AB