The IMAX film FIRES OF KUWAIT begins with a brief but effective recap of Saddam Hussein’s assault on Kuwait, the response of the U.S. and its allies in Operation Desert Storm, and the decisive rout of Iraqi forces. To retaliate, Saddam set fire to hundreds of Kuwait’s oil wells. The result was an environmental crisis of apocalyptic proportions as more than 700 well heads erupted with geysers of flame and massive smoke clouds over hundreds of square miles. Experts predicted that unless extinguished the inferno could rage for 100 years. In an extraordinary example of international teamwork, thousands of workers from several countries tackled the unprecedented task of quenching a petroleum holocaust; and, despite predictions that the fires could not be put out in less than five years, thousands of workers ended Saddam’s revenge in nine months. Their capabilities, cooperation and quiet heroism speak volumes about international harmony.
FIRES OF KUWAIT is an overpowering, jaw-dropping visit to an earthly inferno, and an inspiring tribute to the international teamwork which eventually conquered it. One of the best IMAX films of all time, it received and should have won, an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary in 1992. (It lost to the more politically correct diatribe, THE PANAMA DECEPTION).
(B) Inspiring depiction of international teamwork and creativity to solve a major environmental crisis precipitated by Saddam Hussein.