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FORTRESS AUSTRALIA

Australia, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Australian Showcase)

Director: Peter Butt

Fortress Australia uncovers the brazen attempt by successive Australian governments to fortress the nation with atomic weapons. Recently released top secret documents finally allow this astonishing story to be told, revealing a web of intrigue in which Australia's nuclear industry became inextricably linked to a quest for atomic weapons technology. Set against a backdrop of post-war paranoia about foreign aggression, the film explores the motives of politicians, defence chiefs and scientists who set out to build a nuclear arsenal. It also penetrates the murky world of atomic espionage, exposing the KGB infiltration of crucial political offices which almost thwarted Australia's nuclear ambitions.

Featuring mind-blowing archival footage, Fortress Australia is a tale from the height of the Cold War about secrecy and deception, a film that will finally allow Australians to understand the thinking of their political, scientific and defence leaders who flirted with the bomb. MIFF is proud to present the world premiere of this compelling expose.

Peter Butt (director) is a guest of the Festival

Peter Butt's many credits include the A Big Country series, Out of Darkness, Life's Labour's Lost, China: The Long March, My Father, My Country, Sheep's Back, When the War Came to Australia, the AFI-nominated The Liners, Lies, Spies & Olympics and The Battleships. These programs consolidate his reputation as one of Australia's leading exponents of historical documentation.

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