The Truth About Weapons of Mass Destruction

Paul Hanes in The Truth About Weapons of Mass Destruction

My mate Hanesy's film, The Truth About Weapons of Mass Destruction, after a long and tortuous birth, is about to hit the festival circuit. I haven't seen the final cut but the earlier cuts were great, give or take a long bagpipe sequence.

The film follows Paul and his mates travelling from London through the Channel Tunnel to the World War I battlefields of Belgium and Northern France. Over the course of that war, millions of chemical weapons were fired across no man's land. A large proportion of these weapons failed to detonate in the muddy quagmire that was the front, and some of the chemicals used are stable enough to still be viable today.

Paul drives around the fields and finds some of these unexploded weapons of mass destruction lying by the road awaiting collection by the Belgian Army's specialist bomb disposal unit. He then meets up with that unit and tours with them to see the process of destruction of these weapons. One hilarious scene has the Belgian army guy telling them that if the filmmakers see him running, they should "run faster".

The main thrust of the movie is to point out how easy it would be to collect some of the unexploded shells and use them for terrorism. Only an hour's drive away from London, these shells are lying in fields for weeks at a time waiting for someone to pick them up.

What's truly scandalous is that the countries responsible for making and firing all these scary weapons are being tight arses on paying for their disposal. It's mostly left to the Belgian government to fund the collection and destruction of these weapons. Paul's film shows why it's in everyone's interest to ensure that these weapons are collected and destroyed quickly and securely so they don't fall into the wrong hands. They're going to be turning up in the fields of Belgium for the foreseeable future.

I can just imagine the furore if the europhobe newspapers like The Sun or the Daily Fascist got hold of it. Another peril from those garlic-swilling continentals!

Congratulations to Paul for making it into the shortlist for an award at the Swansea Bay Film Festival and the offical selection at the Everglades Film Festival in South Africa.