Return to the Rainbow Warrior

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by John Hudson, published by ABC, TVNZ broadcasted as part of ABC Four Corners series in 2010 - English narration

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Image: Return-to-the-Rainbow-Warrior-Cover.jpg

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Return to the Rainbow Warrior

Reporter: TVNZ

Broadcast: 20/09/2010

This week on Four Corners, "Return to the Rainbow Warrior", a story that attempts to finally get to the truth of a murderous attack that New Zealanders describe as an act of state sponsored terrorism.

It's easy to understand why French agents would want to sink the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior. They wanted to stop it sailing with a flotilla of boats to disrupt French nuclear testing in the Pacific.

But who planned and authorised the attack, and how many agents were really involved? Twenty five years on, TV New Zealand's Sunday program looks at the events of 1985 with fresh eyes. They talk to the man who led the raid, the man who delivered the bomb materials and the French Prime Minister of the time.

It was a misty night in July 1985 when two French skin-divers swam under the Rainbow Warrior and attached mines to its hull. At ten minutes to midnight, the first bomb exploded. A short time later there was another explosion. One man, Dutch photographer Fernando Pereira, was killed.

In the days that followed, two French spies were caught: Alan Mafart and Dominique Prieur. Both pleaded guilty to playing a part in the plot. But what about the others? The agents who set the bomb, who were they? How many were sent there? Who was really responsible, and where are they now?

Reporter John Hudson tracks down the man who led the team that sank the Rainbow Warrior. Confronting him in a park, Hudson manages to interview him. What we learn about the man's past and present will amaze you.

The program also hears from another operative who brought the components for the bomb to New Zealand. He reveals information about the plan and admits the stupid mistakes made by his fellow team members.

Finally the French Prime Minister of the time, Laurent Fabius, speaks about the attack and what he and others inside the government knew.

Ultimately these sources paint a picture of an ill-conceived plan - hatched by the then Defence Minister Charles Hernu - in order to satisfy his own lust for power and to gain approval from his leader, Francois Mitterand.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Duration: 44mn 21s
  • Filesize: 624 MiB
  • Format: Matroska
  • Video Codec: x264 core 93 r1542 5b86182
  • Video Bitrate: 1 800 Kbps
  • Video Resolution: 992 x 560
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frames Per Second: 25.000
  • Bits-(Pixel*Frame) 0.130
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Audio language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Source: DVB-T
  • Capture: DVBViewer
  • Demuxer: ProjectX
  • Encoder: Avidemux 2.5.3
  • SubMux: MKVMerge

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