The Boat and the Bomb documentary. A real life nuclear spy thriller. This tale of murder, sabotage, espionage and a government cover-up sent shockwaves through the world, and has disturbing parallels with today’s ‘War on Terror’.
In Auckland Harbour, New Zealand, on July 10th 1985, French navy combat frogmen placed two mines against the hull of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior. At ten minutes to midnight, the bombs exploded, sinking the ship and killing photographer Fernando Pereira. The French government were desperately trying to hide the truth about the bombing and the truth about its nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific ocean, and would have gone to any lengths to silence its opponents. This is a film about international espionage, government cover-up and the nuclear arms race, which has disturbing parallels with today’s ‘War on Terror’.
Why you should watch it
Made by Greenpeace itself, this is a remarkably even-handed investigation on the events surrounding the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. With stunning archive footage, the film builds a vivid picture of a group filled with passion and spurred on by a spirit of adventure, who collided with international espionage, with tragic consequences. Revealing an important event which could easily have been wiped from history, if it weren’t for the incompetence of the agents involved, and the solid support of the charitable organisation itself. In actual fact, it galvanised support for Greenpeace, and had completely the opposite effect from that which it intended.
Further information on the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior:
The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior was a well documented case that the French President of the time, Francois Mitterrand, only accepted personal responsibility for 20 years later. There are articles reporting what happened that night in Wikipedia, on the Green Peace website and also on the New Zealand Police website. You can also find out more about what Green Peace are involved in generally here and more about the Photographer Fernando Pereira who was killed here.