Director: Jawad Metni | Producer: Jawad Metni
Focus Years: 2001 | Country: United States
"Downwind" draws a line from Hiroshima through the Nevada nuclear test site to the sands of Iraq and Kuwait, where thousands of soldiers and civilians were exposed to toxic, irradiating dust particles by the use of depleted Uranium tank penetrators. Used extensively in the 1991 and 2003 Gulf Wars, these DU weapons effectively destroy heavy armor and fortified bunkers, yet they release very fine Uranium Oxide particles, which may be inhaled or ingested. Though the long-term effects are highly contested, there is little indication that the U.S. military informed soldiers or civilians about the possible adverse health and environmental effects. Blending broad issues of history and memory with the near ubiquitous control of war imagery by the military, "Downwind" raises questions about the true human cost when the desire for total victory outweighs the moral obligations of "humanitarian intervention".