There was a full house at the auditorium of the Museum of Natural History in Halifax at the screening of Debert Bunker: By Invitation Only on the 30th anniversary of the action decrying, protesting, and ridiculing the rehearsal for nuclear war that took place at the bunker in Debert, Nova Scotia on February 29, 1984.
Directed and Produced by Liz MacDougall, the documentary showed the actions of several affinity groups who came together in 1984 to illustrate the horror that would take place outside such a bunker for everyone except the 318 men and 11 women who were chosen to be allowed into the bunker in an absurd and futile attempt to keep the government, military, and communications structures going following a nuclear attack.
With an obvious lack of understanding of what it would take for a continuation of the human race, the bunker plan would attempt to save old, white men, who would be ushered into the supposedly safe cocoon, leaving their wives and children behind to suffer and die. This 30-minute film transfixed the audience and brought them to the raw emotions of grief, rage, and defiance. The connections and common purpose felt by the participants was felt by those watching the video.
Nova Scotia Voice of Women sponsored the screening, as well as Liz MacDougall’s creation of the new digital re-make that was shown. Many Voice of Women members, including Muriel Duckworth and Betty Peterson, were at Debert that day, bringing women’s voices for peace into the cold February air.