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B-52

Film/Video

Image courtesy the director

B-52
Hartmut Bitomsky, 2001

New Documentary

Nonfiction filmmaking holds a strong appeal for many committed directors and producers. This ongoing series lets you sample wide-ranging approaches to the contemporary documentary.

Fri, June 14, 2002 7 PM
Sat, June 15, 2002 7 PM

This documentary investigates the secret life of one of the most sophisticated and enduring instruments of death ever invented.
With a wingspan the width of a football field, a weight of 225 tons, and a nonstop range of over 8,300 miles, this icon of the Cold War period remains unmatched in its cargo capability, diversity of weapon deployment, and range of operation.

Since its inception as a nuclear cargo plane in the 1950s and its use in Vietnam, the B-52 continues to be relevant in the 21st century.

German filmmaker Hartmut Bitomsky's absorbing documentary focuses as much on its unknown histories as on its reported activities, ranging from undisclosed accidents leaving radioactive materials in North Carolina, Spain, and Greenland, to the fate of decommissioned planes sent to an Arizona scrap heap where they're cannibalized for civilian (and even artistic) uses. (108 mins.)

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