Best Documentaries – After the Apocalypse

The story of the people of Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, who were used as guinea pigs in the Soviet Union’s testing of nuclear weapons.

During the Soviet era, the people of Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan were used as human guinea pigs in the testing of nuclear weapons. Today they live with the consequences: sheep graze in radioactive giant bomb craters and in the most affected villages 1 in 20 children are born with birth defects. Dr Toleukhan Nurmagambetov, the boss of the city’s maternity clinic, wants a genetic passport which will prevent those with suspect genes from giving birth. Bibigul – a local woman from the test-site – is pregnant and her “defected and frightful” face arouses the suspicion of local medical staff. Nurmagambetov labels her a genetic failure. He implores Bibigul to get tested and abort the child who he fears will be born disabled. Will Bibigul give in? If not, will her child be disabled?