Hello everyone! if you are living anywhere on the U.S. East Coast, let me commiserate with your long and snowy winter. The good news is that we are in the home stretch!
It's been nearly eight months since I've updated you on the project, so my apologies. However, since that time the scope of the project has changed pretty dramatically. And it's all because of what is happening in Syria.
Last August, there was a chemical attack on neighborhoods near Damascus where hundreds of people were killed by the poison gas Sarin. How does this connect to I.G. Farben? Sarin is named for four German scientists who were responsible for the discovery and development of the nerve agent beginning in 1938—another deadly Nazi legacy 75 years later.
Since this incident, I have realized that something so current needs to be prominently featured in the film. So the new title of the documentary is The Godfather of Sarin, and it parallels the story of I.G. Farben with Otto Ambros, the man most responsible for bringing Sarin into the world. His life before, during, and after are a sobering reminder of how brilliant science can be perverted, and how realpolitik trumps morality.
I've been working hard to document the efforts to get the chemical weapons out of Syria. I've also been trying to gain access to the remaining tons of chemical weapons stockpiles in both the U.S. and Russia, a lesser known remnant of the Cold War. I have secured a lab where Sarin is tested for sensing devices and materials that can withstand it, and I am also working on filming something called live-agent training, where first responders are sent into a sealed room with actual Sarin to see if they can perform their duties under real conditions.
The film will also document other uses of Sarin in the last 25 years, including Saddam Hussein's chemical attack on the Kurds in 1988, and a Japanese terrorist group's release of the gas in the Tokyo subway system in 1995.
What all of this means is that the amazing footage in Croatia that you helped to make happen is still being worked on and will be incorporated into the final film—it will just take longer with this major shift. Our original estimate of Fall of 2014 will likely now be a Summer 2015 delivery.
I'd love to hear from you, even just to confirm that you have received this. I've heard that not everyone is receiving these updates, so it would be good feedback for Kickstarter.
Stay warm and look for updates on a more timely basis!
All the best, Jonathan