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Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space

Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space

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Pax Americana
Pax Americana
Pax Americana is an appellation applied to the historical concept of relative peace in the Western hemisphere and, later, the Western world, resulting from the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States of America starting around the turn of the 20th century...

 and the Weaponization of Space
is a documentary film by Denis Delestrac
Denis Delestrac
Denis Delestrac is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.-Biography:A law and journalism graduate, Delestrac made his debut in non-fiction filmmaking in 2001 and signed a number of hits including IMAX blockbuster "Mystery of the Nile" and “Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space”, his first...

 with a music score by Amon Tobin
Amon Tobin
Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin , known as Amon Tobin, is a Brazilian musician, composer and producer of electronic music. He is described as a virtuoso sound designer and is considered to be one of the most influential electronic music artists in the world...

. The film deals with the issue of space weapon
Space weapon
Space weapons are weapons used in space warfare. They include weapons that can attack space systems in orbit , attack targets on the earth from space or disable missiles travelling through space...

s and their politics, featuring interviews with several key United States military personal, academics such as Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 and others, including Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen
Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez , better known by his stage name Martin Sheen, is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands and Apocalypse Now , and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.He is considered one of the best actors never to be...

. The film won the Best Documentary award at the 2009 Whistler Film Festival and has been selected in a number of international film festivals.

Synopsis


The prospect of Earth being ruled from space is no longer science-fiction. The dream of the original Dr. Strangelove, Wernher von Braun
Wernher von Braun
Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun was a German rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and in the United States after that.A former member of the Nazi party,...

 (from Nazi rocket-scientist to NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 director) has survived every US administration since World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and is coming to life. Today the technology exists to weaponize space, a massive American industry thrives, and nations are maneuvering for advantage.

Production


Among the challenges faced by the production team was the difficulty to get the authorization to bring a camera inside the Air Force Space Command
Air Force Space Command
Air Force Space Command is a major command of the United States Department of the Air Force, with its headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. AFSPC supports U.S. military operations worldwide through the use of many different types of satellite, launch and cyber operations....

 bases and other US military and government locations. After four months of investigation, the US Department of Defense's public relations office decided to grant Denis Delestrac
Denis Delestrac
Denis Delestrac is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.-Biography:A law and journalism graduate, Delestrac made his debut in non-fiction filmmaking in 2001 and signed a number of hits including IMAX blockbuster "Mystery of the Nile" and “Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space”, his first...

 and his crew the access to the locations they had requested. It is the first time most of the Air Force Space Command bases have been filmed by a civilian crew.

Locations

  • Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama
  • Air Force Space Command's 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base
    Schriever Air Force Base
    Schriever Air Force Base is a base of the United States Air Force located approximately 10 miles east of Peterson AFB near Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States.-Overview:...

    , Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Kirtland Air Force Base
    Kirtland Air Force Base
    Kirtland Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in the southeast quadrant of the Albuquerque, New Mexico urban area, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport. The base was named for the early Army aviator Col. Roy C. Kirtland...

    , Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Starfire Optival Range, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • The Space Foundation, National Space Symposium, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • The White House, Washington DC
  • US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • US Air Force Research Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • US Department of Defense, Arlington, Virginia
  • United States House of Representatives
    United States House of Representatives
    The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

    , Washington DC
  • White Sands Missile Range
    White Sands Missile Range
    White Sands Missile Range is a rocket range of almost in parts of five counties in southern New Mexico. The largest military installation in the United States, WSMR includes the and the WSMR Otera Mesa bombing range...

    , Albuquerque, New Mexico

Interviews



The film features interviews with prominent weaponization of space advocates, space policy analysts, politicians, diplomats, military officials and peace activists. The following individuals were interviewed for the film:

  • General Franklyn Blaisdell, US Air Force Air and Space Operations
  • Doctor Helen Caldicott
    Helen Caldicott
    Helen Mary Caldicott is an Australian physician, author, and anti-nuclear advocate who has founded several associations dedicated to opposing the use of nuclear power, depleted uranium munitions, nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons proliferation, war and military action in general. She hosts a...

    , Australian physician and anti-nuclear advocate
  • General Kevin P. Chilton
    Kevin P. Chilton
    Kevin Patrick "Chilli" Chilton , is an engineer and a former United States Air Force four-star general. His last assignment was as Commander, U.S. Strategic Command from October 3, 2007 to January 28, 2011. Prior to his appointment to general officer ranks, Chilton spent 11 years of his military...

    , Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
  • Professor Noam Chomsky
    Noam Chomsky
    Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

    , MIT professor, linguist and political activist
  • Joseph Cirincione
    Joseph Cirincione
    Joseph Cirincione is the President of the Ploughshares Fund, a public grant-making foundation focused on nuclear weapons policy and conflict resolution. He was appointed to the presidency by the Ploughshares board of directors on March 5, 2008...

    , president, the Ploughshares Fund
    Ploughshares Fund
    The Ploughshares Fund is a public grantmaking foundation that supports initiatives to prevent the spread and use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and other weapons of war, and to prevent conflicts that could lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction. Ploughshares is a 501...

  • Richard DalBello, vice president, Intelsat
    Intelsat
    Intelsat, Ltd. is a communications satellite services provider.Originally formed as International Telecommunications Satellite Organization , it was—from 1964 to 2001—an intergovernmental consortium owning and managing a constellation of communications satellites providing international broadcast...

  • Everett Dolman, military space strategist
  • Alain Dupas, European space expert
  • Craig Eisendrath, former diplomat, US State Department
  • Frank Gaffney
    Frank Gaffney
    Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the founder and president of the American Center for Security Policy, columnist at the Washington Times, blogger at Big Peace and radio host on Secure Freedom Radio....

    , Center for Security Policy
    Center for Security Policy
    The Center for Security Policy is a Washington, D.C. think tank that focuses on national security issues. The Center was founded in 1988 by Frank Gaffney, Jr....

  • Bruce Gagnon, Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
  • Bill Gertz
    Bill Gertz
    Bill Gertz is an American editor, columnist and reporter for The Washington Times. He is the author of six books and writes a weekly column on the Pentagon and national security issues called "Inside the Ring". During the administration of Bill Clinton Gertz was known for his stories exposing...

    , The Washington Times
    The Washington Times
    The Washington Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. It was founded in 1982 by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, and until 2010 was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the...

  • Karl Grossman, author of "Weapons in Space"
  • Theresa Hitchens, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
    United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
    The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research was established in 1980 by the United Nations General Assembly to inform States and the global community on questions of international security, and to assist with disarmament efforts so as to facilitate progress toward greater security and...



  • Gregory Kulacki, Union of Concerned Scientists
    Union of Concerned Scientists
    The Union of Concerned Scientists is a nonprofit science advocacy group based in the United States. The UCS membership includes many private citizens in addition to professional scientists. James J...

  • Senator Jon Kyl
    Jon Kyl
    Jon Llewellyn Kyl is the junior U.S. Senator from Arizona and the Senate Minority Whip, the second-highest position in the Republican Senate leadership. In 2010 he was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world for his persuasive role in the Senate.The son...

  • Professor Howard E. McCurdy
    Howard E. McCurdy
    Howard E. McCurdy is professor of public affairs in the public administration and policy department at American UniversityMcCurdy is considered an expert on space policy and NASA. In 1998, he was selected to be the Charles A...

    , American University
    American University
    American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

  • Mike Moore, author of "Space Cop"
  • Roald Sagdeev
    Roald Sagdeev
    Roald Zinnurovich Sagdeev is a Soviet and Russian expert in plasma physics and former director of the Space Research Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was also a science advisor to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Sagdeev graduated from Moscow State University. He is a member of the...

    , former director of the Russian Space Research Institute
    Russian Space Research Institute
    The Russian Space Research Institute is the leading organization of the Russian Academy of Sciences on space exploration to benefit fundamental science....

  • Martin Sheen
    Martin Sheen
    Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez , better known by his stage name Martin Sheen, is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands and Apocalypse Now , and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.He is considered one of the best actors never to be...

    , actor and activist
  • Isabelle Sourbès-Verger, French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • Baker Spring, The Heritage Foundation
    The Heritage Foundation
    The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

  • Steven Staples
    Steven Staples
    Steven Staples is President of the Rideau Institute, an independent research, consulting and advocacy group located in Ottawa, Canada. In the past 15 years he has been involved with numerous organizations that promote peace and he is well known for his work in international defence, disarmament and...

    , The Rideau Institute
  • Robert J. Stevens
    Robert J. Stevens
    Robert J. Stevens, born in 1951, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin.-Early life:Born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Mr. Stevens is a summa cum laude graduate of Slippery Rock University from which he received the Distinguished Alumni Award...

    , CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Cadet Colton Tuttle, US Air Force Academy
  • Tim Weiner
    Tim Weiner
    Tim Weiner is a New York Times reporter, author of two books and co-author of a third, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award...

    , The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

  • Loring Wirbel, Citizens for Peace in Space
  • Litai Xue, Stanford University
    Stanford University
    The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...


Theatrical version


The 85-minute theatrical version screened at international film festivals since November 2009 and will be released in theaters across Canada in June 2010.

ARTE version


A 76-minute version, titled "Pax Americana ou la conquête militaire de l'espace", was created for French-German broadcaster and co-producer ARTE
Arte
Arte is a Franco-German TV network. It is a European culture channel and aims to promote quality programming especially in areas of culture and the arts...

. It was broadcast in March 2010 and was followed by a debate on the weaponization of space including French TV host Annie-Claude Elkaïm with Samuel Black (Henry L. Stimson Center
Henry L. Stimson Center
The Henry L. Stimson Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan global security think tank based in Washington, DC. Its stated mission is to urge "pragmatic steps toward the ideal objectives of international peace and security." Stimson pursues its vision by conducting independent analysis and offering...

, Washington DC), Otfried Nassauer (Berlin Information Center for Transatlantic Security, Berlin) and Xavier Pasco (Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, Paris)

52 minutes version


A 52-minute version was edited for the French-Canadian public broadcaster Radio Canada (dubbed and narrated in French) and for the international TV market (in English).

CBC version


This 43-minute version, titled "Masters of Space", premiered on CBC-TV and repeated on CBC News Network in April 2010 as part of the scientific and environmental program "The Nature of Things
The Nature of Things
The Nature of Things is a Canadian television series of documentary programs. It debuted on the CBC on November 6, 1960. Many of the programs document nature and the effect that humans have on it. The program was one of the first to explore environmental issues, such as clear-cut logging...

", presented and narrated by acclaimed Canadian environmental activist David Suzuki
David Suzuki
David Suzuki, CC, OBC is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department of the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001...

.

Festivals and awards

  • Best Documentary Award, Whistler Film Festival 2009 (Canada)
  • Official Selection, International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam « IDFA » 2009 (Netherlands)
  • Official Selection, Festival international de programmes audiovisuels « FIPA » 2010 (Biarritz, France)
  • Official Selection, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
    Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
    The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century is a film festival specialising in documentary films which takes place every March in Thessaloniki and is affiliated with the International Thessaloniki Film Festival.-History:...

     2010 (Greece)
  • Official Selection, Victoria Film Festival
    Victoria Film Festival
    The Victoria Film Festival is a publicly attended film festival in Victoria, British Columbia running for ten days in February. The festival shows both Canadian and international films and unreels 150 films with 55 Features on 6 screens around Victoria. It attracts a continually growing audience,...

    , 2010 (Canada)
  • Official Selection, Planete Doc Review Film Festival, 2010 (Varsaw, Poland)
  • Official Selection, « DOXA » Documentary Festival, 2010 (Vancouver, Canada)
  • Official Selection, London International Documentary Festival
    London International Documentary Festival
    The London International Documentary Festival is an annual documentary film festival that takes place every March/April. The event is presented in association with the London Review of Books....

    , 2010 (London, UK)
  • Official Selection, Sci-Fi London, 2010 (London, UK)
  • Official Selection, Madrid International Documentary Festival, 2010 (Madrid, Spain)
  • Official Selection, Encounters International Documentary Festival, 2010 (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Opening Film, Oxdox International Documentary Festival, 2010 (Oxford, UK)
  • Official Selection, DocAviv International Documentary Festival, 2010 (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Soundtrack


The original soundtrack was composed by electronic artist and DJ Amon Tobin
Amon Tobin
Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin , known as Amon Tobin, is a Brazilian musician, composer and producer of electronic music. He is described as a virtuoso sound designer and is considered to be one of the most influential electronic music artists in the world...

 who created the Pax Americana Theme and other exclusive tracks for the movie. Additionally, Pax Americana features a number of artists signed by the London based label Ninja Tune
Ninja Tune
Ninja Tune is a London-based independent record label started by DJs Matt Black and Jonathan More, better known as Coldcut and managed by Peter Quicke. The label has a strong leaning towards mostly Electronic Music...

 like Coldcut
Coldcut
Coldcut are an English dance music duo, comprising Matt Black and Jonathan More. Their signature style is electronic dance music, featuring cut up samples of hip hop, breaks, jazz, spoken word and various other types of music, as well as video and multimedia.-1980s:In 1986, computer programmer Matt...

, Blockhead
Blockhead
Blockhead is the name of a theoretical computer system invented as part of a thought experiment by philosopher Ned Block, which appeared in a paper entitled Psychologism and Behaviourism...

, Bonobo
Bonobo
The bonobo , Pan paniscus, previously called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is a great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan. The other species in genus Pan is Pan troglodytes, or the common chimpanzee...

 and Neotropic
Neotropic
In biogeography, the Neotropic or Neotropical zone is one of the eight terrestrial ecozones. This ecozone includes South and Central America, the Mexican lowlands, the Caribbean islands, and southern Florida, because these regions share a large number of plant and animal groups.It is sometimes used...

 as well as Montréal based DJ Champion.

External links