SNAKE DANCE

By Manu RICHE, Patrick MARNHAM

ANDANA FILMS - as SALES All rights, World

Documentary - Completed 2012

The knowledge needed to build the atomic bomb was not given to us, it was consciously pursued. And the world has been living with the consequences ever since. Snake Dance is a personal reading of humankind’s catastrophic decision to play God.

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • BELGIUM, IRELAND, NETHERLANDS
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Duration
    • 75 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Manu RICHE, Patrick MARNHAM
    • Writer(s)
    • Manu RICHE, Patrick MARNHAM
    • Producer(s)
    • Manu RICHE (Riche, Riche & Riche), Geneviève DE BAUW (Riche, Riche & Riche)
    • Synopsis
    • The knowledge needed to build the atomic bomb was not given to us, it was consciously pursued. And the world has been living with the consequences ever since. Snake Dance is a personal reading of humankind’s catastrophic decision to play God.
      From New Mexico to Congo and Japan, we explore the atomic legacy and the indelible stamp it has left on the world by following the tracks of 2 characters who forged this story: German-born Aby Warburg who studied the Pueblo Indians of Los Alamos, and Robert Oppenheimer who will always be known as the inventor of the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.
      In 1895 Aby Warburg travelled to New Mexico to study how Pueblo Indians had survived the barren desert conditions of Los Alamos for more than 1000 years. While there, Warburg discovered the Indian rattlesnake dance, their way of confronting their primal fears and ensuring survival by mastering the power of lightening, the bringer of rain.
      Fifty years later, Oppenheimer chose the mountains around Los Alamos as a place to raise his children and find spiritual peace, and to conceal the construction of hell.
      Such juxtapositions are woven into the story of Snake Dance, which takes us on a journey through the open spaces of New Mexico, where the atomic bomb was built and tested. In Congo, Africa’s horn of plenty, the land has nourished the bomb with uranium, while miners struggle for survival. And finally, we visit the bomb’s living test site in Japan, where most recently the devastating 2011 tsunami in Fukushima has contaminated the land for generations to come.
      The film’s soundtrack is by the Japanese pianist, Jun Kanno, whose father describes the experience of witnessing Hiroshima and the tsunami as leaving him bereft of feelings or words.
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