After the Apocalypse is a disturbing documentary about long-term radiation effects on people living within The Polygon, an area inside the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Kazakhstan.
Officially known as the Semipalatinsk Test Site, "The Polygon" is where the Soviet Union conducted the majority of its atmospheric nuclear weapons testing from 1949 to 1963. After the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty the site continued to be used for underground weapons tests until 1989, finally closing with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
In all 100 above-ground nuclear weapons were detonated here including the largest man-made explosion ever, a 50 megaton device known as “Tsar Bomba”. According to the government, there was no danger to the more than one million people living in the 18,000 km2 area.
Unlike the Nevada Test Site in the United States, Semipalatinsk was left unrestricted and poorly managed. As a result, people hunted in the area and farm animals grazed on highly radioactive ground. High amounts of radioactive isotopes such as Strontium-90 (known to cause bone cancer since the body can't distinguish it from calcium) among many others have caused birth defects and cancer rates to sky-rocket.
This documentary tells the unofficial truth of Soviet nuclear testing through the help of Kazakh medical professionals.