Radio Bikini

Director: Robert Stone

Institute History


Using familiar archival footage, Robert Stone’s Radio Bikini tells the story of John Smitherman, a veteran of the 1946 test in Bikini, and Klion Bauno, the native chief of the Bikinians.

This moving and powerful film shows how America deceived its own troops and Pacific Islanders about the safety of atomic power for peace and nuclear weapons research for the defense program. These tests were designed to measure the effect of atomic explosions on ships, animals, military equipment and the effectiveness of troops under simulated battle conditions. Smitherman, a witness reduced to crippling ill-health, is both articulate and vivid in his testimony.

The case for Pacific Islanders is equally tragic. Clearly, they were deceived by the American government and were the victims of over zealous nuclear testing officials, both civilian and military. Like many American participants, the Islanders received both intentional and accidental doses of radiation.

— Mitchell W. Block

Screening Details


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