Ground Zero (1987) Movie Script

- [ hydraulics hissing ]
- [ metal clanking ]
[ Geiger counters crackling ]
We got the taste
that's biggest
It's the greatest
in the West
Oh, Texas
Super Chili Dogs
Stand up to any test
You can eat us
while you're standing
Or sitting
on your horse
And smother us
with pickles
or tomato sauce...
- Cut! Cut!
- Texas Super Chili Dogs
- We wanna shout about it...
- [ recording stops ]
Hugh, recue the playback!
Let's put the second
mark up here.
Okay, lower the sausage.
Come on, lower it, more!
- [ traffic blaring ]
- [ instruments playing ]
Where's the makeup?
- Woman: Here!
- [ chatter ]
[ distant siren wailing ]
Are you all set, Harvey?
Hey, you with us, mate?
Just testing
my instrument, Captain.
Yeah, well, point it
over this way, space cadet.
- Come on!
- Aye, aye, sir!
Texas Super Chili Dogs,
we wanna shout about it
- Texas Super Chili Dogs, tell the
world about 'em... - Okay, come on.
Texas Super Chili Dogs,
you cannot live without 'em...
[ screaming ]
[ screaming continues ]
'Cause the Texas Super Chili
Dog's the only one for us!
Harvey: Your hot
dog is the tackiest
The biggest rip-off
in the West
is so mindless
But it always
pays the best.
Biggest hot dog in the
world today, Mrs. Berkowitz.
[ classical music playing ]
[ answering machine rewinding ]
- [ machine beeps ]
- Man: This is Martin, Harvey.
I've landed that suntan
lotion commercial for you.
A week of sun, surf,
and long-legged women.
- It's tough, isn't it?
- Someone's gotta do it.
You leave on Sunday, 25th.
They're talking $5,000,
but I pointed out
- if they want the best,
they'll have to pay for it. - Bless ya.
Leave it to me.
I think we can squeeze 'em
for $7,000 plus expenses.
Okay, any problems,
ring me. Ciao.
[ receiver clicks ]
- [ machine beeps ]
- Woman: Hi, Harv! It's Jude.
Remember Dad's home movies
you were going to transfer to video?
Well, where are they,
darling brother?
Uncle Julius wants to take
copies back to the old country.
He's only here
for another two weeks.
Yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah.
Wiggle outta this one, Boris.
Oh, by the way,
I found another one
of Dad's movies in the basement.
It's the whole family
at Christmas.
I put it in the mail.
Make an effort, little brother.
- Ring me, today.
- [ receiver clicks ]
Man #2: You should watch
the news tonight, Mr. Denton.
- [ receiver clicks ]
- [ disconnect tone beeping ]
[ machine rewinding, beeps ]
Man #2: You should watch
the news tonight, Mr. Denton.
- [ receiver clicks ]
- [ disconnect tone beeping ]
Australian Federal Police
confirmed that there was
a break-in at the offices
of the Royal Commission
into the British nuclear tests.
The break-in early Saturday
morning has raised fears
about the safety of top secret
documents held by the commission.
The documents, many of them
so secret that some barristers
appearing before the commission
have been denied access,
contained classified
and detailed information
about the tests conducted
in Australia by the British
from 1952 until 1964.
[ classical music playing ]
Great pair of legs, Harv.
[ hinge squeaks ]
- [ electronic chirping ]
- Take that!
You big bully!
You got the drop on me!
- I got you!
- Hey, you big bully! What are you doin'?
Dang it! Darn it!
[ shouts ]
[ laughing ]
- Heh-hey!
- [ chirping stops ]
[ whispering ]
We're in trouble.
[ door closes ]
You have him on weekends.
Come on, silly.
[ guns chirping ]
- [ chirping stops ]
- Don't encourage your father.
Woman: Go to
sleep now. Come on.
- Boy: Oh, but I'm not sleepy.
- Out.
You think she wants me to leave?
Can't you stay tonight?
You can sleep in my bed.
Nah, matey.
You sleep tight.
Battles to fight.
Give us a hug...
...with all your might!
- And no dog.
- Oh, come on, Pat. A kid his age needs a dog.
He needs a father with brains.
He needs mates to kick a
footy with, things like that.
Harvey, who's going to look
after this dog, huh?
Who's going to wash it?
Who's going to feed it?
Look, you don't wash a dog.
It's bad for 'em!
Feeding him?
Look, Dom can do that.
He's six years old,
for God's sakes.
He wouldn't know which end
of the can opener to use.
It'll be me again, won't it?
Pat, I told you.
This plant's getting
too much sun.
It needs shade.
It's an indoor plant.
Look, I could call around
every other day.
No, you couldn't.
It's taken me three months
to get him used to this.
A child his age
needs routine, stability.
That's just what a dog will
give him... routine, stability.
Look, wait till
you see this pup.
He's irresistible, just like me.
Well, that's just
what I need, Spot.
But Dom likes to have me around.
Please, Harvey.
Not a dog.
You used to, too, remember?
One child in the house
was enough.
Lean meat, bones.
No canned shit.
It's what you give a dog.
Don't forget,
you promised to show
cartoons at his party on Sunday.
- Now go home.
- I am home.
[ shouting ]
Was anything else stolen,
apart from the films?
No, nothing.
You don't make blue movies,
do you, Harvey?
Come off it.
What was on these films?
Like I said, it's home movies
and some other stuff my
father shot when I was a kid.
Who'd want to steal home movies?
Andy Warhol?
[ laughing ]
I love the smell of palm trees
in the morning.
Napalm, you pleb.
you said these films
were 16 mil.
Most home movies
are super 8, aren't they?
My father was
a professional cameraman.
He made docos,
"Movietown News," stuff like that.
So on the weekends
he'd bring home
the leftover stock
and do the family pics.
You're sure there's
nothing in these films
that someone else might want?
Yeah, sure.
No other unusual scenes?
[ distant siren wailing ]
- Man: Hello? Mr. Denton?
- [ dog barking ]
Oh, uh, this is the
Wagging Tail dog kennel.
That pup you ordered is ready
for collection, okay?
Harv, it's me again.
I just got home.
It's a complete mess.
Someone tried to rob the place.
Stuff everywhere.
It's really weird.
Nothing seems to be gone.
The police are here now.
It gives me the creeps.
Ring me?
Man #2:
tonight, Mr. Denton.
[ answering machine rewinding ]
[ disconnect tone beeping ]
Man #2:
tonight, Mr. Denton.
- Camera one, zoom in.
- Focus.
- Set the K.?
- Setting the K now.
Okay, back out.
[ chatter ]
I'm telling you, it's not
just an ordinary burglary.
Why did they only
take the films?
- And what about the weird telephone message?
- I haven't got time.
[ beeping ]
- Harvey: What about my films?
- Pat: Who would want to steal that?
[ crew chattering ]
Four, three...
[ audio rewinding ]
...resolute and thereby
advance the cause
of peace for us
and our children.
And in Sydney today,
Australian Federal Police
confirmed that there was
a break-in at the offices...
- Pat: Find anything?
- ...into the British nuclear tests.
No. Nothing.
- What's that?
- Running sheet.
- Of the news?
- Mmm.
Let me see it.
Now, why is number seven
scrubbed out?
Not enough time.
Technical problem.
Would that be the only reason?
- It happens all the time.
- Well, could we find out exactly?
[ sighs ]
[ audio rewinding ]
Ron, Pat Denton here.
Fine. Last night's news,
item seven was scrubbed.
They what? What was it
about? I mean, did you see it?
Newscaster: ...sitting in
Adelaide, there a sworn statement
by a veteran of the atomic tests
who claimed he had evidence to
prove that nomadic Aborigines died
as a direct result of the tests.
Pat: Can't you
be more specific?
Newscaster: The witness
refused to elaborate
when pressed
by Justice MacKenzie...
- Pat: You can tell me.
- ...and instead accused the British
and Australian governments
of a whitewash.
- Pat: Thanks. Bye.
- The commission will now travel to elbourne where...
I don't know what it stands for.
It's just called a D-notice.
It has to do with
national security.
What? You mean, anyone can
march in here and confiscate tapes?
No, not anyone.
Intelligence, ASIO.
It's only happened once
since I've been here,
during the Falklands War.
- Did he say what was on the tapes?
- No.
All he'd say was it came
from the Adelaide station.
Something about
a plane being dug up.
- Plane? What's the connection?
- Probably none.
- Harvey: What about my films?
- Pat: Don't ask me, ask ASIO.
Can I help you, sir?
Uh, I'm not really sure.
This is ASIO?
That's correct, sir.
Who would you like to see?
I don't really know, exactly.
Well, the duty officer
handles general inquiries.
Your name, sir?
Harvey Denton.
If you'd like to take
a seat, Mr. Denton.
[ dialing phone ]
There's a Mr. Denton
in reception.
I don't know.
[ Muzak playing softly ]
Where's that middle camera?
Man: Why don't you just sit
and wait for the duty officer, sir?
Is that middle camera upstairs?
Where's the bloke
on that camera?
- Man: Just sit and wait, sir.
- He's got my bloody film!
Hey, listen, mate.
Hey, you!
[ door closes ]
[ door opens, closes ]
[ machines droning ]
[ guns cocking ]
- [ quiet chatter ]
- [ typewriters clacking ]
Man: Mr. Denton, my
name's Danny Trebilcock.
I'm the officer
in charge of this...
Look, the films,
that's... that's all I want.
They're on their way up now.
I think you can leave
now, gentlemen. Thank you.
Well, you've certainly put a
little excitement into their day.
Would you like a drink?
I'm afraid I've only got
Perrier. Is that okay?
Yeah, fine.
Surprised us all,
turning up like this.
Harvey: Look, I just
want the films back.
I must apologize for the way
in which they were seized.
Some of us are trying to upgrade
the image of the organization.
But old habits die hard,
I suppose.
We have a real problem...
uh, sit down...
attracting the caliber
of personnel we want.
[ sighs ]
What do you know about
your father's death?
My father?
He drowned
off the coast of South...
Where'd you get this?
What was he doing when he died?
Well, he was a cameraman.
He... he died when I...
He was working for the army.
He was filming
the British A-bomb tests.
We believe that is your father.
Shot through the head,
close range.
Recognize this?
- Um, I think so...
- [ knock ]
- Trebilcock: Yes?
- [ door opens ]
Oh, just place them on the desk.
Thanks, Jenny.
This plane was buried
in November '54.
They flew it through
the mushroom cloud.
It was so radioactive,
they had to bury it.
They dug it up for
the Royal Commission.
The body...
was a complete surprise.
- But why would...
- We don't know.
So, the films...
[ whirring ]
[ metallic tapping ]
[ projector whirring ]
[ answering machine beeping ]
Man: Hello, Harvey.
This is Uncle Julius.
Yes, Uncle.
Oh, Harvey, did you
receive the present?
Oh, look. Thanks again
for the socks, Uncle.
Just in case
if you couldn't come up
before I left,
I asked Judy to send them.
Yeah, I'll... I'll be up
the first chance I get.
Listen, is Judy there? I have
to speak to her for a minute.
Judy, it's Harvey.
- Judy: Harvey.
- Hello.
Hey, listen,
you mentioned something
about a burglary, Judy.
I guess it was just some
local kids up to mischief.
By the way, do you remember
the exact date of Dad's death?
Mmm, let me think.
12 of November.
And that was 1953, wasn't it?
That's right.
No, no, I was just...
just wondering.
Listen, I'll ring you
before I come up, all right?
I'll speak to you later.
Hang on! Don't forget to
video the home movies.
No, no.
Consider it done.
Newscaster: ...from the prime
minister and President Reagan,
reaffirming both nations
wish to continue
a strong and dynamic
security relationship.
Both sides stressed the
importance of the ANZUS Treaty
and have continued
cooperation on defense
and other matters
under the alliance.
a responsible ANZUS ally,
an important trading partner,
and a trusted friend.
Newscaster: Aides did
not rule out the discussion
on the Star Wars project
or U.S. bases in Australia
may take place
over the next few days.
And in Melbourne, the last
week of the Royal Commission
into the British
atomic tests is underway.
Pat Denton filed this report
after this morning's session.
Pat: The first day's hearing
at the commission in Melbourne
has been both emotional
and sensational.
Claims by Australian atomic
test veterans and Aborigines
have been categorically
denied by legal counsel
for the British government.
Also today, details were
released concerning the discovery
of a radioactively
contaminated aircraft
dug up in the South
Australian desert.
When questioned, British
representatives would make no comment.
- [ reporters clamoring ]
- Excuse me, Mr. Hooking.
Do you have any comment
to make about allegations
of a radioactive aircraft
dug up in South Australia?
[ overlapping chatter ]
Well, at this stage
it appears the British
are maintaining a stiff upper
lip knowing that next week
marks the end of the
commission's investigations
and time is running out.
This is Pat Denton
at the Royal Commission.
Our meteorologists, scientists,
and fallout experts agreed
it was completely safe.
There was absolutely no
possibility of contamination
or risk to the population
centers of Australia.
And you did take into account
the possibility of fallout
affecting Aboriginals?
Of course. We got along
very well with the Aborigines.
At one stage we even
supplied them with blankets.
It, uh, gets very cold
out in the mud bowl.
And when some
American colonels visited,
we showed them the blacks' camp.
It was a service we provided.
- Just like Disneyland.
- [ laughter ]
He said he came across a
whole lot of dead Aboriginals,
him and two other servicemen.
I reported it.
Next day he was
transferred, I think.
I never saw him again.
Your Honor, I...
I'm a little lost
as to what to even say.
Then sit down and don't
say anything, Mr. Hooking.
If Your Honor will permit me.
What is it?
Hooking: The witness is
wasting the commission's time.
His evidence isn't only
hearsay, there is no point in...
Woman: Your
Honor, Mr. Ballantyne
should be allowed
to finish his testimony.
Agreed. Sit down, Mr. Hooking.
This thing about the dead
Aboriginals was going about.
Everyone was talking about it.
All the servicemen.
And as a consequence,
there was some sort of parade
and you were addressed by
one of the British officers.
Ballantyne: We told
him again what happened.
He said the British government
paid a lot of money for the tests
and if news about the incident
got out and about,
a lot of money would be wasted.
Commissioner: And when he
addressed you, how would you describe
the way in which he spoke?
Well, he spoke to us
like they always spoke to us.
Like a little pommy turd
speaking to the colonials.
Telling us what we
had to do, or else.
- Your Honor.
- If I were you, Mr. Hooking, I'd quit while I was behind.
[ people murmuring ]
Or else what?
He reminded us that
we'd signed a secrecy act.
If we broke it,
we could go to jail
or be put to death.
[ people murmuring ]
Commissioner: Mr. Ballantyne, you were
stationed for some weeks
- in a camp in the forward area...
- Excuse me.
...of the Maralinga
test site.
Yes, sir, that's right.
Don't get involved.
Leave it to us.
Commissioner: Even at the time, you thought
it was odd that everything was so open.
Don't get involved?
My father was murdered.
It's our job.
We have the resources and...
Listen to me. Listen.
Just hear me.
I've been doing
some thinking about this.
Now, just... just tell me
if I'm right or wrong.
You don't have to say anything.
We cannot divulge
any information.
You don't have to
divulge anything.
Just tell me if I'm right
or wrong, all right?
Ballantyne: We'd always find
Aboriginals on the wrong side of the fence.
Okay, well, um...
I think my father saw something
or filmed something
he wasn't supposed to.
And whatever that film was has
got some major bearing on this, right?
- Listen...
- Well, you haven't said no, have you?
I want to find out
who killed him
- and why he was killed.
- Just listen to me.
This thing is a damn side
bigger than you think.
You do not have all
the pertinent information.
It's a political minefield
and you go blundering about,
you could mess it up.
Just leave it
to the people who know...
No way, man. Come on.
What would you do?
You find out your father was
murdered, what would you do?
Call Mrs. Trilby Tjapalijarri.
Walemari: I want you to
tell it to all the people here,
what did you think you saw?
We thought we saw
the great white s-snake
clearly digging water out.
- Was it a big noise?
- Loud noise.
- And... and what did you call it?
- Puyu.
- Walemari: Puyu.
- Excuse me?
Uh, the... the black mist,
Your Honor.
Please go on.
So, would you tell the
court again about the puyu?
What... what was it?
A sticky black cloud.
And where did it come?
Tjapalijarri: Fell on the trees,
on the ground.
And what happened to the people?
The people became sick.
Vomiting, sore eyes.
- Walemari: Right.
- Tjapalijarri: And some died.
There were deaths?
It's taboo, Your Honor.
My people aren't allowed
to speak of the dead.
It would help, in the event of
compensation to your people.
You killed their dreaming.
Commissioner: I see Mr. Hooking
has something to entertain us with.
Do you wish to
cross-examine the witness?
No, Your Honor.
But given the opportunity
to say anything at all,
I should like to express
the disadvantage we all suffer,
with due respect
to my learned friend,
in not being versed in tribal
Aboriginal mythology.
And to restate
our strong objection
at anecdotal evidence
and the reliance upon that
from choice witnesses.
Yes, we've heard
you before on that.
Your Honor, my people assert
that members of their family
and tribes died.
Tribal custom prevents them
from talking about it.
Your Honor, we keep
hearing of reports
of sickness, blindness, and
death from areas which we contend
could not possibly
have been affected.
But where is this hard evidence?
[ chattering ]
Trebilcock: Call me
anytime, day or night.
- That was him.
- Who?
The ASIO bloke.
It's all come out
about the plane.
- Mm.
- Nothing about a body.
Look, I saw the photos.
- You sure?
- Of course I'm sure.
I'm off.
But I want to know
everything that happens.
- Okay?
- Sure.
See you.
[ elevator bell dings ]
- Carl Denton?
- No, his son.
Thought you were too young.
We saw your father's films
of the bomb tests.
He spent a lot of time
with my people.
Do you, uh, have
an interest in this?
What sort of interest?
Don't know yet.
Is your father still alive?
No, he died in, uh, 1953.
Pity. I would've
liked to talk to him.
Anyone who was there.
It's our word against
the, uh, experts.
After all...
we're only simple tribesmen.
Anything might help us.
The smallest memory, souvenir.
- [ elevator bell dings ]
- Anything.
[ man coughing ]
It'd be in here, somewhere.
[ laughing ]
- Listen, I got a date, somewhere around...
- Eh?
I've got a date somewhere around the beginning...
- What?
Around the beginning
of November 1953.
- November 1953?
- Yeah.
November 1953, put your hand up.
[ laughing ]
We close at 6:00.
If you're not out by then,
I'll man a search party.
[ laughing, coughing ]
[ coughing ]
He printed 400 feet
of positive stock.
Isn't that unusual for a cameraman
to process and print his own material?
No. Army stuff, see?
Top secret.
We weren't allowed to touch it.
Army blokes did
all their own stuff.
Ha. Afraid there were Reds
hiding in the darkroom.
[ laughing ]
Yeah, thanks for your help.
How is your father?
- He died.
- Give him my regards.
What subject?
The British A-bomb
test in the '50s.
Oh, the Royal Commission biz,
I've got to imagine, huh?
Besides, it's classified anyway.
You need ministerial permission.
Uh, but this is
where they're stored.
Oh, there is one other.
It's a film about
basic training.
Where is it?
Y-yeah, it's, um...
"A Day in the Life
of a Regular Soldier."
It was made in... in 1959.
Look, I know it's late, but if
you could just tell me if it's here,
I'll know whether it's worth
coming back tomorrow.
All right.
All right.
Now, what was it called again?
"A Day in the Life of..."
- "Of a Regular Soldier."
- "...a Regular Soldier."
- 1959.
- That's right.
- Thanks for your help.
- Mm-hmm.
No, the computer's down...
[ whistling ]
[ door opens ]
[ light switch clicks ]
[ sighs ]
[ keyboard clicking ]
[ beeping ]
[ music playing ]
Narrator: The eyes of
the world are on Maralinga,
a remote village on the edge
of Australia's great desert,
as man's most
revolutionary discovery,
the atom bomb, is tested.
The veil of secrecy
is lifted for the visit
of the Australian
prime minister Mr. Menzies,
who finds that
the atomic atmosphere
is developing healthy,
young Australians.
At the site itself, last-minute preparations
are completed.
Constructionof dugouts and trenches
for the protection
of scientific instruments
to record the blast.
Dummies are dressed and placed
in strategic spots
to test the effects
of the exploding atom
on military clothing
and equipment.
Weather conditions
are just right,
so the valiant carrying
this awesome weapon
heads for the target.
The firing control desk
flashes its message.
The countdown begins,
and it's backs to the blast.
Ten, nine, eight,
seven, six, five, four,
three, two, one.
[ explosion ]
Our Australian servicemen
get the best view of all,
only a mile from ground zero.
A triumph for British scientists
and the Australian technicians
who made possible
the tests at Maralinga.
[ keyboard clicking ]
[ keyboard clicking ]
[ muttering ]
[ keyboard clicking ]
You beauty.
[ projector whirring ]
[ projector stops ]
Man: You were told, then,
to say that the atomic cloud
was a raincloud?
Well, it was suggested.
So you were instructed to lie
to the Australian public
and in fact to cover it up?
Man #2: Yes.
Man #2: And subsequently,
Sir William Penney,
the director of the tests,
expressed concern...
Look, I found a film.
I'm not sure what it is.
It's deserted huts,
vehicles, army stuff,
but there's no name
to identify what it is.
X200. Just a
coordinate on a map.
A top-secret facility.
They demolished it
straight after the bomb tests.
- When can I see it?
- Tonight.
Look, come to my place
after about 10:00.
I'll write it down for you.
Man: Whereas the
observed trajectory
three hours after the explosion
was quite the opposite.
Yes, it's quite a variation.
There must've been a wind change
in the upper atmosphere.
You can't always predict them.
To your knowledge,
were there any settlements
in the path of the atomic cloud?
[ Dom chattering ]
Harvey: Look at this.
They just fled.
- [ Dom chattering ]
- Shh.
That's it.
[ sighs ]
- You don't know where this camp is?
- No.
Well, all we do know is
whoever was there left in a hurry.
- Why?
- Easy. Avoid some sort of danger.
Unplanned event?
Yeah, yeah, like an
atomic bomb going off.
Well, that would be incredible
if there were some proof.
- What do you think that is?
- That is some empty buildings.
Look, there's gotta be more.
He shot 400 feet of film.
Now, there's 340 there,
so there's 60 feet
still missing... 60 feet.
Now, that could be the proof for
everything the British are denying.
That could be.
That could be
the story of the year.
It could be more
than that, you know?
What are you going
to do with that?
It goes with me.
Woodward and Bernstein, eh?
- Leave me the copy.
- Why?
You never know.
All right, swap.
This for dinner tonight.
You don't give up, do you?
On one condition.
Change your shirt
and have a shower.
You're on.
Molly's, 7:00.
we struck gold.
The film.
How come you blokes missed it?
You didn't make
any copies, did you?
No, cut me off at the pass.
It's not all there, you know.
Well, the last couple
of minutes are missing
and that's just a print.
I couldn't find the negative.
I am impressed.
If you ever feel like
a change in career...
Nah, I'll leave that
to you fellas.
[ laughs ]
[ men laughing ]
Harvey's voice: G'day. This is
Harvey Denton's answering machine.
If you'd like to leave a message
after the beep, I'll get back to you.
- [ machine beeps ]
- Pat: Hello. It's me.
Listen, I can't make it
to Molly's at 7:00.
I'll be there about
8:00, okay? Bye.
[ phone ringing ]
- Pat Denton here.
- Pat, about din...
I'm out, but my answering
machine is always in.
- Shit!
- Please don't waste your call.
- Leave a message after the beep.
- [ beeps ]
[ chattering ]
[ camera shutter clicking ]
[ tires screeching ]
[ grunting ]
[ grunting ]
- Aah!
- [ knife clatters ]
[ train rattling ]
[ gunshot ]
Newscaster: For Jim
Weimer and Steve Thomas,
the legacy of Maralinga
could be an early grave.
To be blunt, neither of
them have long to live.
Man: The cancer
rate in our members,
as the British test bears,
is four times greater
than the normal
civilian population.
Four times greater,
and I'm one of them!
[ dial tone ]
Man: You believe that much
radiation will cause death?
[ chatter continues on TV ]
Man #2: A short
time after it happened,
I developed this rare
form of cancer.
- Right down here.
- [ phone ringing ]
It's cobalt therapy.
- Trebilcock: Yes?
- Trebilcock?
Now look, what in
Christ's name's going on?
Denton, hold on.
Where are you?
Now, those hoons,
who the hell are they?
They're not mine!
It's the British!
They want to destroy the film.
Now whatever you do,
don't move tillwe get there.
Where are you? Denton?
Where are you?
...finishes hearing
evidence this week.
But there still may be hope.
A test veteran claims
to have solid evidence.
His name is Prosper Gaffney,
and we have him
on the phone right now
from Nimman Brook
in South Australia.
Hello, Mr. Gaffney.
You claim to have evidence
which will expose
what really went on
during the tests in the '50s.
[ Gaffney, distorted voice ]
I said before we started,
I didn't come
to talk about that.
- Man: Yes, but you said that...
- Gaffney: Are you daft?
I said the time will come
and the whole world will know.
I'm here to talk about
the Royal Commission
because it's a farce.
Nothing will come of it.
It's a whitewash.
And they'll all burn in hell...
Menzies and Attlee
and Lord Penney.
Man: In the British
Parliament, Mrs. Thatcher...
And she can burn, too!
We'll all burn together.
Man: This evidence
that you claim to have...
Burn in hell.
And the fires
won't be hot enough.
Not enough to make up
for the sins
of the thousand years
of burning.
Not in a thousand years
of burning!
Dom on phone: Hey, you
were going to show cartoons.
Harvey: Sorry, old
mate, but this is important.
I have to do it for my dad.
Well, you'd do it for me,
wouldn't you?
- Dom: Yeah, I suppose.
- Good boy.
Now listen.
Put your mom back on, Dom.
Eh, and, Dom, Dom.
Listen, I really love you, son.
Pat on phone: Where
were you? I waited an hour.
They murdered him, the ASIO guy!
- [ kids clamoring ]
- What are you talking about?
- Harvey: Outside the restaurant.
- [ children singing ]
Look, I can't talk.
Your phone's probably
bugged or something.
But just make sure someone's
with you and Dom all the time, okay?
Harvey, what's happening?
It's the film!
They want the film.
The tape.
- They destroyed it.
- Who?
The British, ASIO...
I don't know yet.
We're a team, aren't we?
- Harvey?
- Yeah?
Take care of yourself.
Yeah, don't worry about me.
I do.
Excuse me, um,
I'm looking for Prosper Gaffney.
Thank you.
[ helicopter blades whirring ]
[ Gaffney, distorted voice ]
What do you want?
Are you Prosper Gaffney?
You're disturbing my work.
Piss off.
You left a message
on my telephone machine.
Who told you that?
I recognize the voice.
What voice?
I don't know you from Adam.
Why would I leave you
any bleeding message?
That's what I want to find out.
I don't suppose
you've got a name?
Harvey Denton.
Well, Mr....
Mr. Denton.
I'll not be the one
to spoil the good name
of outback hospitality.
So you can stay the night.
And then you can bugger off
back to wherever it was
you sprung from.
Bloody awful, isn't it?
Hey! What are you doing,
you silly old black bastard?
Blind as a bloody bat.
One of them, uh,
mushroom clouds got him.
What do you mean?
He was downwind of one
of these bomb tests.
Most of his mates died young.
He lost his eyesight.
Now, me...
I have a throat cut.
[ chuckles ]
Now, you worked on the tests.
Worked on 'em?
I chose all the bloody sites.
Didn't I, Charlie?
I came out with the other Brits.
A specialist.
I chose the exact spot
to let them off.
The exact spot.
Ground zero.
We were having
the time of our lives.
Splitting the mighty atom
for queen and country.
Then we saw the first one blow.
It was as if
the earth cracked open
and we'd released
the fires of hell.
Smashed the bush.
Not a living thing in miles.
And that great big
black cloud...
Eh, Charlie?
The scientists cheered
and danced a jig.
And Charlie and all his lot
got the legacy.
One mighty
And he paid for it
for the rest of his life.
The day of retribution
is upon us.
And we shall all burn.
Burn in hell...
for eternity.
Harvey: Do you know
what's on the film?
I'll take it to the commission.
That's a circus.
The Aboriginal legal guy.
Black man in a white man's suit.
Don't trust anybody.
That's where your father
made his mistake.
- [ chattering ]
- [ dog barking ]
[ chattering ]
[ speaking native language ]
[ baby crying ]
[ speaking native language ]
Gaffney: They've only
just come back here.
[ speaking native language ]
He says he knew your father.
He was a good friend
of your father.
Your father and I...
we got lost.
It was the devil's work.
As soon as I saw
the place, I knew that.
Keep a big place
like that secret.
Something unnatural
was going on there.
The Geiger counter
was almost off the scale.
The silly buggers.
They thought of everything
except the winds changing.
I wanted to piss off,
but your father...
he wanted to take some shots.
I stayed on guard by the Jeep...
with Charlie there.
He was gone a long time.
When he came back...
it was really strange.
He wouldn't tell us
what he'd seen, but he...
he told me not to mention
we'd ever been near the place.
A week later,
he came back
and he... he wanted me to
drive him to the bush again.
He was in a great hurry.
When we got to where
we were going, he...
he told me to stay...
by the Jeep.
He had a box...
that he wouldn't let
out of his sight.
But I snuck a look at it
while he was asleep.
There was a film can in it.
I didn't have
to guess what it was.
A few days after we
got back to base...
he was transferred.
And we never saw him again.
They murdered him.
[ helicopter blades whirring ]
[ distant explosion ]
[ distant explosion ]
Wake up!
Wake up!
- Wake up!
- What?
Where's Charlie?
He would never
let a fire go out.
Probably gone for
a piss or something.
Go find him.
- Hmm?
- Now!
Hang on.
I just woke up.
- [ groans ]
- [ wind howling ]
All right, all right!
They're out there somewhere.
- Who?
- The bastards who killed Charlie.
He fell down a gully, didn't he?
Wake up, man.
He heard something.
He could hear a flea
fart at half a mile.
They're out there.
[ sighs ]
You can't get... get any
further with me on your back.
Go to that dry stream there.
At the top there's caves there.
It's in there.
Safer than a bank, eh?
Nobody comes here
except the blacks.
And they would
never go in there.
It's... sacred.
[ flashlight clicks ]
[ bats screeching ]
Harvey: Hey!
We found it!
We found it!
[ helicopter blades whirring ]
[ alarm blaring ]
It's the negative!
All of it, 400 feet!
[ engine starts ]
I.D. please, sir.
What are American
soldiers doing out here?
Under the Joint
Facilities treaty,
this property
is under the jurisdiction
of the government of the
United States of America.
Piss off.
- Harvey: Driver's license do?
- Soldier: Thank you.
Harvey: It's okay.
They'll check with ASIO.
Listen to me!
[ soldier speaking
indistinctly ]
I told them.
I said we'd stumbled
on something.
I didn't know what he shot.
And they said
he'd be transferred.
He was my mate.
[ soldier speaking
indistinctly ]
I was drunk.
Nothing changes.
Only the accents.
And the bloody uniforms.
We're leaving.
- What are you doing?
- Drive!
I mean it.
- Pull over!
- [ gunshot ]
Get out.
Get out? What are
you talking about?
I know what I'm doing.
Here, take this.
Do it.
For your father
and for the rest of us.
I never rang you.
That wasn't me.
Don't trust anyone.
[ soldier speaking
indistinctly ]
Whoa! Get!
[ engine revving ]
[ chatter ]
[ phone ringing ]
Pat's voice:
Hello. Pat Denton here.
I'm out, but my answering
machine is always in.
[ receiver clicks ]
I got the negative, all of it!
They came to the station.
There's a D-notice.
- We've gotta get a print made.
- Don't give it to me.
- We'll do it back at the station.
- No, they'll only take it!
- Look, they won't even know we're there.
- There's no time now.
- What do you mean, there's no time?
- There's no time!
- Ugh, look. Where's your car?
- You don't understand!
- I do! You don't understand!
- What's the problem?
Do you know what people
have been through for this?
- Just listen! Just listen!
- Aw, piss off, will ya?
- Come on, we've gotta go!
- They put a D-notice on the film!
It'll be buried forever.
Let him go!
Look, the commission
is winding up.
They've only got
about an hour to go.
In there is your only chance.
- Let's go. Let's go! Grab the camera!
- Man: Grab what you can.
I'll take that.
No way.
Excuse me. Would you mind
telling me what all this is about?
- Switch that off!
- Could you give me your name?
Under what authority
are you detaining this man?
Just switch off that camera!
Excuse me. Would you mind
telling me who you rep...
...cooperation from
the British government
in regard to the question
of availability
and access in it to assist.
And claims of my government
being obstructionist have been
- unwarranted and unfair.
- I've got it.
- Hooking: Every effort...
- Commissioner: What is this?
[ people murmuring ]
I've got important evidence.
It's the film I told
you about, Mr. Walemari!
Commissioner: What
the hell's happening here?
Walemari: Your Honor,
this could be vital evidence.
[ people chattering ]
Somebody tell me
what's going on!
I've got a film
and it's important evidence
for this commission, Your Honor.
You're in contempt!
Your Honor, I request
an adjournment...
- Please, Your Honor!
- Commissioner: Shut up!
Shut up!
Everybody, shut up!
[ chatter stops ]
This is my commission.
You'll listen to me.
Look, this is
important evidence!
- Would you believe me?
- In these chambers I decide what's important.
There are procedures
for presenting evidence.
That's what I want to do,
but they're trying to stop me
because they know
what's on this film!
What have you got?
It had better be bloody good.
- This evidence cannot be accepted at this time!
- Quiet, you!
This film proves
that it's all lies!
- [ people murmuring ]
- Where was this film taken?
It was taken at Emu Field
near Maralinga.
[ people murmuring ]
Under the terms
of this commission,
it is neither right
nor proper at this stage...
The outcome of this
commission will decide that.
Is that it?
Yes, this is the film.
Your Honor?
This film comes under
the Military Secrets Act,
signed by Prime
Minister Menzies,
and it is therefore classified.
- Bullshit! Don't listen to him!
- That's enough, that's enough.
You are acting in an official
capacity, Mr. Trebilcock?
Bailiff, the film, please.
All right.
You can have the film.
But it has to be printed.
Now, I wanna be there
when it's printed
and I want
Mr. Walemari with me.
You, sir, accompany me
to my chambers.
This commission will adjourn
until further notice.
All rise!
[ people chattering ]
So you haven't actually seen
what's on this film.
Well, that's the negative, but I've
seen part of a print struck from that.
Your Honor, obviously I cannot
allow anyone to see this film
until it's been viewed by us
and we've determined
its security status.
If Mr. Denton's right about what's
on this film, it could affect my findings.
Now, if you seize the film,
I'll subpoena it.
Too many people know it exists.
The legal battle's
going to hold me up
and it'll be bad publicity
for you fellas.
What I'm suggesting
is I view the film...
Hang on, that's my film
and I've got a right to see it.
The film belongs
to the government.
It can only be viewed by an appointed
agent with a security clearance.
I am an appointed agent.
So what I'll do is I'll view
the film and then report to you.
Can you do that straight away?
I can't tell you
what's on the film,
but I can tell you
if I'll be subpoenaing it.
Mr. Trebilcock.
There was no image.
The laboratory said it was long-term
exposure to radiation, cobalt-60.
You're advised to have a medical
checkup as soon as possible.
That can't be true.
Let me see it.
What have you done?
You've done something to it.
You swapped it over,
you bastards!
What have you done
to the fucking film?
They've swapped it!
I'll expose this,
I'm telling you.
If it's the last fucking
thing I do, I'll expose it.
Go home and forget about it.
The film was all that mattered.
We both lost.
Now just go home
and forget about it.
- Who are you?
- None of your business.
Well, where's
Mrs. Berkowitz?
She moved out a few days ago.
I'm the new tenant.
Could you get out
of my way, please?
You're a bloody spy, aren't you?
You tell Trebilcock
I know what's going on.
No more of his bullshit.
You tell him that, all right?
You tell him to leave me alone!
Newscaster: Then at a press
conference after the final round of talks,
the prime minister confirmed
that the American lease
on the U.S. secret
installations base at Pine Gap
would be renewed.
The Royal Commission into
the British nuclear tests
wound up its investigation today
after sitting
for over 11 months.
We now cross live to our
commission reporter, Pat Denton,
who was there
for the final session.
It's been an emotional last day
- at the nuclear test inquiry.
- [ machine beeps ]
- Time seems to have run out...
- G'day, this is Harvey...
...for Aborigines
and test veterans.
And yet, unanswered questions
still hang like a nuclear cloud
over the whole
Australian-British joint test project.
Martin over phone: Harvey,
Martin here! Where on earth are you?
If you don't get
your tail down here...
Pat: Did British neglect
lead to injury and deaths?
Will they spend
the billions of dollars
necessary to clean up
their deadly mess?
Well, whatever the outcome,
it appears that Aborigines
and test veterans
may once again be the innocent
victims of a secret political agenda.
[ machine beeps ] - A few hours
ago, a man disrupted the inquiry...
- G'day, this is Harvey...
- ...claiming he had a film proving British deceit.
Official sources later
announced it was a hoax...
- Dom on phone: Dad...
- ...but would give no further details.
- Dom: She said I might get squashed by a truck.
- This is Pat Denton.
G'day, matey.
Listen, don't worry about
what your mother said.
We'll all sit down and talk
about it, all right?
Well, great!
When did you get back?
Oh, just a little while ago.
Did you find your dad's film?
Actually, Dom,
something happened to it.
What happened, Dad?
I tried to find out.
I did try.
I'll explain it
to you later, Dom.
I'm really tired.
[ steam whistling ]
Dom: Nan said
you were brave.
What happened to my grandfather?
He just died, matey.
A long time ago.
He tried to help some people.
You see, fathers, they're
just like everyone else.
They die.
Dad, will you come home?
Yes, Dom.
Yes, I am.
- Hang on.
- Dad?
[ teakettle whistling ]
[ music playing ]