'Kirisimasi' is a documentary film that tells the story of the Fijian nuclear veterans who participated in Britain's nuclear testing program at Christmas Island and Malden Island in the 1950s.
In the 1950s, hundreds of Fijian soldiers and sailors were involved in Britain’s nuclear test program in the central Pacific, codenamed Operation Grapple. They witnessed nine atmospheric nuclear tests conducted between May 1957 and September 1958 at Christmas (Kiritimati) Island and Malden Island in the British Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony (today, part of the independent nation of Kiribati). Thousands of British military personnel, together with 524 New Zealand sailors and more than 260 Fijian soldiers and sailors, travelled to the central Pacific to participate in this testing program. Today, many suffer from health impacts that they attribute to exposure to hazardous levels of ionising radiation.
Despite a decade-long legal struggle and recent medical research highlighting genetic impacts, the UK Ministry of Defence refuses to acknowledge that any veterans’ health was affected.
Working with the Fiji Nuclear Veterans Association and a team of Fijian filmmakers, Nic and Torika are making a one hour documentary film about the history of the nuclear tests in 1957-58, letting Fiji’s surviving nuclear veterans tell their tale and describe the challenges they face today.