// awarded the "Fernsehpreis in Parma" 1995

Juergen Ast | Karlheinz Eyermann

Juergen Ast

Commissioning Editor:
Johannes Unger


astfilm productions | for ORB

October 30th 1961. At dawn, from a soviet military base in the north of the Soviet Union, a strategic bomber takes-off on a top-secret mission with course to the Arctic Sea island Novaia Semlia. One hour later, the largest ever tested nuclear weapon is dropped over. The detonation releases a force, that is 2500 times more powerful than the explosion of the nuclear bomb over Hiroshima.

Only two months after the building of the Berlin-Wall, Khrushchev initiated the 50 megaton test to apply even more pressure onto the West. Khrushchev's last term in office is characterized by a certain "blackmail policy" and the constant speculations of a new world war. The mastermind behind the Soviet super bomb was Andrei Sakharov. But after the test, Sakharov, who had been rather a military "hawk", started to change his mind.

The Soviets produced a documentary of all the necessary preparations and the decisive moment of the test, all added with ceremonial music and patriotic paroles in propaganda style. This film was kept secret for a long time in the Soviet archives. Now it is the primary material of a documentary, that want to grant a in-depth look at the structures of the former superpower Soviet Union and especially its nuclear development. It was a time "at the edge of war", narrated through the unknown story of the "Red super bomb". For the first time, the documentary tells in public of the scenario of a "Soviet silver bullet".