About the Author of the Bikini Atoll Website:

Jack Niedenthalniedenthal

Title: Trust Liaison for the People of Bikini Atoll (hired by the Bikinians)
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Dual citizen of the U.S. & the Marshall Islands
Educated: University of Arizona (1978-80)
B.S. degree in Business Economics, cum laude with Academic Distinction, elected to the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society for Business Majors
Clarion University of Pennsylvania (1975-77)
Vice President of Student Senate, NCAA All American swimmer (1976) & PSAC State Champion swimmer (1977)
PADI Divemaster, IANTD wreck diver
Peace Corps volunteer, Namu Atoll, 1981-84
Certificate from the Guam Legislature recognizing various contributions to the Marshall Islands and Micronesia, presented by Guam Hon. Senator Sam Mabini in Guam in September of 2011.

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Voluntary Public Service and other positions in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia:

Current positions held:
President of the Majuro Cooperative School(October 2003-present, serving 5th two year term).

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*Founder of Microwave Films of the Marshall Islands, a community based film production company in the Marshall Islands, (May 2008 to present). Film Threat Interview in March of 2010 with Jack Niedenthal regarding Microwave Films and making movies in the Marshall Islands. Interview with Directors/Producers Jack Niedenthal & Suzanne Chutaro for the Guam International Film Festival Website, September 17, 2011

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Interview with Jack Niedenthal and Suzanne Chutaro about Ainikien Jidjid ilo Boñ (The Sound of Crickets at Night)
September 22, 2012.

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Article about Microwave Films on the Business Superstar website.


jackPast positions held:

*Peace Corps Volunteer, Namu Atoll, 1981-84 (2 years of service + 1 year extention) Article about Jack Niedenthal in Peace Corps World Wide..
*Elected and served as the Majuro Cooperative School PTA President for the 2002-2003 school year (October 2002)
*Elected and served as Treasurer of the Majuro Cooperative School (October 2003-Sept. 2007), Vice-President, 2007-2009, currently serving as Board Member and President.
*Served as Vice President of the Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce for 2005.
*Served as a Board member and Vice Chairman for the Prior Service Trust Fund Administration for Micronesia (January 2003--March 2004), Chairman for (March 2004--March 2005)
*Elected and served as the President of the Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce (January 2006-January 2008 for a two year term).
*Selected by the Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce to serve on the President's Economic Advisory Council, Aug. 2007-January 2008.
*Served as Chairman of the Board for the Marshall Islands Service Corporation. (July 2006--September 2008)
*Selected by Marshall Islands President Litokwa Tomeing and the Cabinet to serve on a Commission of Inquiry into the 2007 General election, February of 2008. Read the FINAL REPORT OF THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY.
*Appointed to the "Comprehensive Adjustment Program Advisory Group" by the Cabinet of the RMI government (April 2009).
*Served as the Chairman of the Board for the Marshall Islands Social Security Administration [MISSA] (Vice-Chairman from 2000-2003, Chairman from January 2003-2012). Appointed for four three year terms.
*Elected to the Board of Directors for the Bank of the Marshall Islands, 2003-2012. Served as the Chairman of the Audit Committee. (Elected for the April 2003-2004 term, and then reelected each year from 2004-2011).
*Selected by the Marshall Islands government to serve a 3 year term on the College of the Marshall Islands [CMI] as a Regent on the Board of Directors, (October 2004-2007, reappointed for a second term, January 2008-2011, and a third term, 2011-2014, though resigned in 2012), Chair of the 2005, 2009 & 2011 CMI Presidential Selection Committees, elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Board and was reelected to this position each year since September 2005, served as the Finance Committee Chairman for the Board and was also a member of the CMI Planning Committee and the CMI Bid Committee.
*Served on the Board for the Prior Service Trust Fund Administration for Micronesia (2005-2012)
*Charter Member of the National Language Service Corps (NLSC) as a Marshallese speaker (March 2009-April 2010).


Having lived, studied and worked in the Marshall Islands from 1981 until the present, he speaks fluent Marshallese. His wife, Regina, is a Bikini islander. They have five children, two of them by adoption, and one grandson andone granddaughter.

His first six years in the Marshalls were all spent in the isolated jungles of the outer islands. He was a Peace Corps volunteer on Namu Atoll (1981-84). He then contracted to work with the Bikini Council on Kili Island (1984-late 1986) teaching English to the adults, teaching in the elementary school and working with the Kili/Bikini/Ejit Local Government Council.

After the death of former Trust Liaison, Ralph Waltz, he was asked by the Council to begin work as the Trust Liaison for their local government (1987 to present).

Duties of the Trust Liaison for the People of Bikini include the management and coordination of the funds allocated by the United States government to compensate the Bikinians for their suffering and to facilitate the radiological cleanup of Bikini Atoll. He acts as a liaison for the Council to the media, the U.S. government and its various agencies, the scientists who work on Bikini, the Bikini Council's attorney, trustees, money managers, construction companies, engineers, project managers, auditors and business associates. The Trust Liaison also coordinates travel schedules, is used as an advisor and translator, manages the Bikinians' scholarship program, and is responsible for the Bikini Council's accounting.

He also manages the Bikini Atoll tourism operation for the Bikinians [read a letter to customers].

The government of the Marshall Islands awarded him an honorary "Public Benefit" Marshallese citizenship in December of 2000.

Along with his book about the people of Bikini, he has published a number of articles, academic papers and photos about the Bikinians in The Guardian (United Kingdom), World View magazine, The Health Physics Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle and others. He also published a chapter about Bikini Atoll in the book, Everything You Know is Wrong, compiled by Russ Kick.


jilel

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shell

A full-length feature film in the Marshallese language (with English subtitles)
Directed and produced by Jack Niedenthal and Suzanne Chutaro
Original screenplay by Jack Niedenthal
Filmed in the Marshall Islands
1 hour 18 minutes

Jilel Trailer

Jilel Website

Jilel is the story of Molina, a young Marshallese girl who is confronted for the first time with the idea that her island—her beloved homeland—is vanishing because of the rising seas caused by world-wide global warming.

Starring:
Tolfina Fakatou, Juko Niedenthal, Niten Anni, Netha Gideon, Naiko Jashua,
Miriam Domnick, Monique Levy-Strauss
& Lulani Ritok

Featuring:
The Music of Les Anjolok & Steve Latin-Kasper
& the Poetry of Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

Marshall Islands Premiere:
TBA

World Premiere:
TBA
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castaway

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Jack Niedenthal and Suzanne Chutaro of Microwave Films covered the Marshall Islands Castaway story from start to finish in early February of 2014 for CNN. Microwave Films captured the only film footage of the Castaway, Jose Alvarenga, as he stepped off the patrol boat onto Majuro Atoll. Microwave Films also managed to get an exclusive interview with the unshaven Alvarenga just a day after his arrival from the outer islands of Ebon Atoll.
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zori


Interview with Jack Niedenthal by Micronesian activist organization,
The Fourth Branch


ZORI

A short film in the Marshallese language
(with English subtitles)
Directed and produced by
Jack Niedenthal and Suzanne Chutaro
Original screenplay by Jack Niedenthal
Filmed entirely in the Marshall Islands on Majuro Atoll
9 minutes

Starring:
Maxter Tarkwon, Netha Gideon & Momo Melson

"ZORI... can melt any heart..."
-Phil Hall, Film Threat, October 2013 (full review)

"Refreshing... Downright charming and sweet..."
-Misty Layne, Rogue Cinema, August 2013 (full review)
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"This small and remarkable film is one of the year’s
most engaging under-the-radar gems."

-Phil Hall, Film Threat, October 2012

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top film
THE SOUND OF CRICKETS AT NIGHT was named
on one of independent film website Film Threat's lists as a Top Film of 2012

"Marshall Islands-based filmmakers Jack Niedenthal and Suzanne Chutaro recall the subtle cinematic style of Satyajit Ray with a provocative and moving drama that weaves three stories of loss and rue into a memorable work of art."

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"THE SOUND OF CRICKETS AT NIGHT is rich with culture, heart, and intelligence... It recalls the restrained wonder of renowned Thai director Apichatpong Weerasthakul, as further tempered by the darkness of David Lynch."

-Martin Wong, Co-founder of Giant Robot Magazine, May 2013
Read full review

 

 

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Ainikein Jidjid ilo Boñ (The Sound of Crickets at Night) A full length feature film in Marshallese premiered in theaters on September 7, 2012 in Majuro of the Marshall Islands, was written by Jack Niedenthal. He also directed and produced the film along with Suzanne Chutaro using numerous Bikinians as the cast and crew in order to tell their own story.

Filmmakers Jack Niedenthal and Suzanne Chutaro brush across profound emotional issues – family disintegration, isolation, loss of self-identity and homeland, and the embrace of faith when man-made solutions fail – and plumb their territory with a low-keyed sensitivity that echoes the classic works of Satyajit Ray... Although the cast is made up of nonprofessionals, the ensemble is first rate... This small and remarkable film is one of the year’s most engaging under-the-radar gems.

-Phil Hall, Film Threat, October 2012
Read entire review

The new film by Jack Niedenthal and Suzanne Chutaro, The Sound of Crickets at Night, marks a new chapter in the history of Marshallese film. This meditation on loss and emotional deprivation represents the first attempt to articulate on the screen the pain the Marshallese have endured for generations and continue to endure in the 21st century. It is also a movie that is both beautifully imagined and sensitively composed: attributes that make it the first cinematic poem to come out of the Marshall Islands, and the single most ambitious film originating in this country to date...

What both domestic and foreign audiences will  come to recognize by the end of this film is that the history of Marshallese exile is not merely history; it is also the present.

-Peter Sutoris, Filmmaker (The Undiscovered Country), August 2012

 

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Chosen "Best of Festival" at the 2011 Guam International Film Festival
out of 130 films from 24 countries


"Jack Niedenthal and Suzanne Chutaro have successfully brought the Marshall Islands into the realm of global cinema - and the film world is a richer place thanks to their distinctive efforts."
-Phil Hall, Film Threat, July 2011


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"My first thought as the film ended was, 'How Marshallese!'...
It's bound to be a big hit with Marshallese currently living out of the country. And it highlighted some of the important social issues in Majuro... The special effects were very good for a low budget production and the music was great."

—US Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, Martha Campbell, June 2011

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Lañinbwil's Gift, A full length feature film in Marshallese premiered in theaters on May 21, 2011 in Majuro of the Marshall Islands, was written by Jack Niedenthal. He also directed and produced the film along with Suzanne Chutaro using College of the Marshall Islands students, Majuro Cooperative School students, staff and parents, Marshall Islands High School students, Women's Athletic Club members and numerous Bikinians as the cast and crew.

"Niedenthal’s and Chutaro’s skillful use of folk stories, elements of magic as well as the backdrop of Majuro, a community with many idiosyncratic yet universally relevant problems, make this film a unique and indeed important contribution to the debate on what it means to act morally... Lañinbwil's Gift gives us a unique perspective on life in a nation that has much wisdom to offer to the world... a perfect blend of entertainment and question-begging reflection."
-Peter Sutoris, film maker, June 2011

"The drive-by images that flicker through the film capture downtown Majuro in its rough, sometimes bombed-out looking urban ugliness of patchwork fences and half-built concrete structures. The taunting of a homeless boy by kids and adults presents a mirror of how Marshallese society has changed from the old days when the phrase ‘jouj eo, mour eo’ (kindness is life) governed people’s lives in this rapidly changing western Pacific nation."
-The Marianas Variety, June 2011
(read full review "Thousands Flock to View New Marshalls Film")


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Buy the DVD

 

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"Yokwe Bartowe must be the most honest film I have ever seen. Raw, down-to-earth and true to reality, it becomes a statement about the Marshallese identity: humble, yet charming; troubled, yet smiling; magical, yet believable... Many Hollywood directors indeed have a lot to learn from Niedenthal, Chutaro and their crew."
-Peter Sutoris, Filmmaker

bartowe

 

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Yokwe Bartowe, A full length feature film in Marshallese premiered in theaters on January 29, 2010 in Majuro of the Marshall Islands, was written by Jack Niedenthal. He also directed and produced the film along with Suzanne Chutaro using College of the Marshall Islands students, Majuro Cooperative School students, staff and parents, Women's Athletic Club members and several Bikinians as the cast and crew.

“Yokwe Bartowe...can sincerely lay claim to being among the most original cinematic endeavors to emerge in quite some time... it slam dunks with spirit and personality... If the film is missing the razzmatazz of the CGI-heavy productions from Hollywood, it more than compensates with the raw, visceral power one associates from folk art – it throbs with a genuine sense of emotion and honesty, demanding that its voice be heard and respected.
Hopefully, Yokwe Bartowe will find its way around the world. This is an extraordinary work that deserves to be seen!"

-Phil Hall, Film Threat, February 25, 2010 (read entire review)

 

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Buy the DVD

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Ña Noniep (I am the Good Fairy)

The very first full length children's feature film in Marshallese released in March of 2009 was written, produced and directed by Jack Niedenthal using Majuro Cooperative School students, parents and staff, and some Bikinians as the cast and crew.

"It was thrilling to see a film that was conceptualized, written, cast, filmed and edited in the Marshall Islands... Marshallese kids can now see that their lives and reality are worthy of exploration in film..."
--
Dartmouth College Professor Andrew Garrod

"I thought it was wonderfully entertaining with a strong moral message...an uplifting movie that should nurture a sense of pride and self-worth among the Marshallese people, and anyone interested in fostering principles for a more tolerant and caring society..."
--
United States Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, Clyde Bishop

"Ña Noniep is the film drawing the crowds..."
--
The Marshall Islands Journal, March 13, 2009

Radio Bikini produced by Robert Stone [nominated for an Academy Award in 1988]. Toured with Bikinian elder Kilon Bauno publicizing the film. [left: At the Academy Awards in 1988. No, I don't know who she is, nor do I remember her. As I recall, she reflects the way everyone looked to me on that evening].

 


October 2013 interview with Jack Niedenthal by the Micronesian activist organization,
The Fourth Branch

Film Credits

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Radio Bikini produced by Robert Stone [nominated for an Academy Award in 1988]. Toured with Bikinian elder Kilon Bauno publicizing the film.
Nuclear Exiles produced by the National Geographic Explorer series[nominated for an Emmy Award in 1988]. Credited for all translation work, responsible for taking the film crews to Bikini, Ejit and Kili Islands.
Bikini: Forbidden Paradise produced by Bill Livingston for ABC's World of Discovery [nominated for an Emmy Award in 1994]. Credited for all translation work, responsible for taking the film crews to Bikini, Ejit and Kili Islands, also, some of writing for this film was taken from an unpublished book by Jack Niedenthal.
The Bikini Atoll produced by the A & E Channel in 1996. Credited for all translation work, responsible for taking the film crews to Bikini, Ejit and Kili Islands.
Live from a Shark Cage with Al Giddings by the Discovery Channel in 1999. Credited for all translation work, responsible for taking the film crew to Ejit Island, assisted in the underwater production of the live broadcast.
Ña Noniep (I am the Good Fairy), a full length feature children's film in Marshallese released in March of 2009, was written, produced and directed by Jack Niedenthal using Majuro Cooperative School students, parents and staff as the cast and crew.
Yokwe Bartowe (Poor Bartowe), A full length feature film in Marshallese that premiered in theaters on January 29, 2010 in Majuro of the Marshall Islands, was written by Jack Niedenthal. He also directed and produced the film along with Suzanne Chutaro using College of the Marshall Islands students, Majuro Cooperative School students, staff and parents, Women's Athletic Club members and several Bikinians as the cast and crew. This film was an Official Selection for the Big Island Film Festival in Hawaii in May of 2010.
biffLañinbwil's Gift, A full length feature film in Marshallese premiered in theaters on May 21, 2011 in Majuro of the Marshall Islands, was written by Jack Niedenthal. He also directed and produced the film along with Suzanne Chutaro using College of the Marshall Islands students, Majuro Cooperative School students, staff and parents, Marshall Islands High School students, Women's Athletic Club members and numerous Bikinians as the cast and crew.
Ainikien Jidjid ilo Boñ (The Sound of Crickets at Night) A full length feature film in Marshallese premiered in theaters on September 7, 2012 in Majuro of the Marshall Islands, was written by Jack Niedenthal. He also directed and produced the film along with Suzanne Chutaro using numerous Bikinians as the cast and crew in order to tell their own story. (photo L to R: Jack Niedenthal, Karen Earnshaw, Alson Kelen, Banjo Joel and Salome Fakatau).
Zori A short film in Marshalles that was written and directed along with Suzanne Chutaro. The film showed at the 2013 Hawaii International Film Festival, the 2013 Guam International Film Festival (where it won the Audience Choice Awar), and the 2013 New England Underground Film Festival.


Niedenthal has also assisted in news reports filed by CNN, Newsweek, the McNeil/Lehrer News Hour, ABC News, the NY Times, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the BBC radio and television network, Radio Australia, Radio New Zealand and many others.

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Article on the National Peace Corps Association website about Jack Niedenthal's filmmaking

Contact Jack Niedenthal: bikinijack@gmail.com



 

BBC Newsnight Interview with Jack Niedenthal on February 4, 2014 for his and Suzanne Chutaro's coverage for CNN of the Castaway story in the Marshall Islands.

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Interview with Directors/Producers Jack Niedenthal & Suzanne Chutaro
Guam International Film Festival Website, September 17, 2011

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Lañinbwil's Gift chosen "Best of Festival"
at the 2011 Guam International Film Festival
out of 130 films from 24 countries

Radio Australia Program (mp3)
interviews regarding the film, Ña Noniep, March 3, 2009
Radio New Zealand (mp3)
interview in March 13, 2009 regarding the film, Ña Noniep

Radio Australia Radio Program (mp3)
interview with Jack Niedenthal about Yokwe Bartowe, February 2010

Radio New Zealand Program (mp3)
interview with Jack Niedenthal
about the film, Yokwe Bartowe, February 2010
Film Threat
interview in March of 2010 with Jack Niedenthal regarding
making movies in the Marshall Islands.

Radio Australia interview (mp3)
interviews regarding the film, Lañinbwil's Gift, May, 2011

Bikini Trust Liaison Jack Niedenthal discusses the value of the August 2010 World Heritage designation for Bikini Atoll and
what it means for the people of Bikini in UNESCO's quarterly Voices Magazine, (in PDF) pages 10-11, January-March 2011
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NPR
NPR/Jacqueline Froelich interview
with Bikini Trust Liaison Jack Niedenthal about the Marshall Islands, Springdale, Arkansas, June 25, 2009



Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March, 2009:

The World's Debt to Bikini

by Jack Niedenthal


Interviews With Jack Niedenthal:

Newsweek
December 1, 1997 interview with Jack Niedenthal.
ABC News 1998 interview with Jack Niedenthal.


The August 6, 2002 "Nuclear Special" section of The Guardian (the United Kingdom) included articles by several Pulitzer Prize winning authors and a centerfold historical piece with photos about nuclear weapons testing on Bikini Atoll by Jack Niedenthal
Bikini Liaison Tales

Epic stories of life at home and on the road with the People of Bikini.

Click on above image to read: Naked in Front of Unnaked People


Death at Sea
A group of Islanders go missing for days off the shores of Kili Island/

THE MARSHALL ISLANDS NEEDS A CLEANUP SUPERFUND
A published essay from 2002 by Jack Niedenthal

For the Good of Mankind
online

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FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND: A History of the People of Bikini and their Islands
by Jack Niedenthal

226 pages w/photos, paperback, [ISBN 982-9050-02-5] With a Foreword by Dr. Leonard Mason.

*Details about the tragic history of the people and their islands
* Interviews with elder Bikinians and their leaders about their struggles from ancient to modern times and personal stories about the author's relationship with the islanders
*Details about the Bikinians' local government and trust funds
*Information on the radiological concerns and cleanup on Bikini Atoll
*Demographics about the people and the geography of their islands
*Brief histories about the ships now at rest in Bikini's lagoon and also info as to the whereabouts of the other ships that were used for nuclear testing on Bikini
*Tourism details and dive profiles
*Sources for researchers of Bikini Atoll's history
*Fully indexed


This book can be autographed at no extra charge.

Order from or from this direct ordering link at Amazon.com, or you can also buy and download the Kindle edition.

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