Red Torch is a small documentary production team made up of two journalists and former newspaper reporters, Jen Jackson, and Brian Molongoski. We are producing a feature-length documentary film about the many healthcare issues facing the citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau today — those residing in the United States under the Compact of Free Association, and those living in Micronesia — from impacts of radiation to lack of healthcare access in the United States.
We are so lucky to have partnered with Living Islands in June 2018. With Living
Islands’ indispensable help, since last spring we have conducted interviews with community members and leaders, advocates and government officials. We have met many incredible people and heard as many incredible stories.
In the last year, we have developed a long-term plan for production and distribution. This documentary is targeted at the major media outlets, such as American Public Media (APM), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), other local media stations, as well as streaming platforms like Netflix – which will also increase national awareness in the United States and bring further support to COFA citizens. In late November, we were able to release our first short teaser trailer for the documentary film. We have also made plans to go much, much further.
While our work and filming to-date have taken place in the Pacific Northwest, this April we are planning to travel, with Living Islands, to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and to the Federated State of Micronesia to learn, film and record the stories of everyone from local families to government dignitaries.
As we go further, our documentary aims to tell the stories of three major regions: Oregon and Washington, where healthcare legislation has recently started providing COFA residents with access to medical coverage. The Subregion of Micronesia, where America’s nuclear legacy is deeply felt to this day and providing healthcare comes with its own set of difficulties. States like Arkansas and Texas, with large COFA resident populations without access to desperately needed healthcare and medical services.
The documentary seeks to uncover the struggles of these communities and expose the broken promises of our government, including decades of Senate hearings, funding that was promised but never received, government testing on those exposed to radiation and the continued problems caused by radioactive fallout. From some of the highest levels of thyroid damage and cancer in the world to drastically elevated rates of severe birth defects, stillborn births, and infertility. There could be no better time than the present to shine a light on these issues and the people fighting for a place to call home.
Our goal in coming together with Living Islands to help advocate for various
communities from the Micronesian subregion of the South Pacific now
living in the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the United States, and to
educate all Americans on the effects of the United States’ nuclear legacy on
South Pacific Islands.
Meet the people behind this unique documentary.