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The Strangest Dream

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When the U.S. government brought the world's greatest scientists together to build the first atomic bomb, nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat was among them. But his conscience would not allow him to continue, and he became the only member of the Manhattan Project to leave on moral grounds.

Branded a traitor and spy, Rotblat went from designing atomic bombs to researching the medical uses of radiation. Together with Bertrand Russell he helped create the modern peace movement, and eventually won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Strangest Dream tells the story of Joseph Rotblat, the history of nuclear weapons, and the efforts of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs - an international movement Rotblat co-founded - to halt nuclear proliferation.

With the end of the Cold War, the imminent fear of nuclear catastrophe faded, but about 27,000 warheads remain, and more nations are racing to join the nuclear club.

The first Pugwash conference took place in the small Nova Scotia fishing village from which it draws its name. This film brings to light the group's behind-the-scenes role in defusing some of the tensest moments of the Cold War.

The story takes us from the site of the first nuclear test, in New Mexico, to Cairo, where contemporary Pugwash scientists meet under the cloud of nuclear proliferation, and to Hiroshima, where we see survivors of the first atomic attack. Featuring interviews with contemporaries of Rotblat, members of the Pugwash movement, and passionate public figures including Senator Roméo Dallaire, The Strangest Dream demonstrates the renewed threat represented by nuclear weapons, while encouraging hope through the example of morally engaged scientists and citizens.

2008, 89 min 28 s

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Best Writing in a Documentary Program or Series
Gemini Awards
November 13 2010, Toronto - Canada

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