Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Last Atomic Bomb

2006
1h 32m
Documentary/War
Advertisement

Cast

Sakue Shimohira (Self)Koichi Wada (Self)

Director

Robert Richter

Advertisement

Synopsis

Challenging assumptions, nuclear proliferation of today is seen through the devastating yet inspirational life of Nagasaki survivor Sakue Shimohira - joined by college students - dedicated to making sure the truth about the last atomic bomb deliberately used on human beings will never be forgotten. There are other documentaries about the atomic bomb, but none include what is in this one, for the first time: * It challenges the widely held U.S. assumption that dropping the bomb on Nagasaki was essential to end World War II. The provocative arguments about that decision have never been part of a U.S. documentary. * It presents information about an almost unknown part of post World War II history: the Press Code imposed by the U.S. occupation government on Japan's media. Prohibiting media reports on the bomb or its health effects, the Code had a significant effect on how survivors were mistreated in their own country and how their health problems were misunderstood. * It presents information about the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, a U.S. agency that gathered data from thousands of survivors, sent that data to the U.S.-not Japan-and did not attempt to ameliorate the health problems of the survivors. * It also is innovative in crossing generations, by showing a 70-year old bomb survivor accompanied by college students who have taken up her cause. In one of the film's most powerful moments Sakue describes her sister's suicide ten years after the war ended as "the courage to die." Ms. Shimohira, the survivor, found "the courage to live" and dedicate her life to abolishing nuclear weapons. The film follows the tiny, tireless and dedicated survivor and two college students to Paris, London, Washington, DC and New York as they present letters to the British Prime Minister, French President and President Bush, inviting them to come to Nagasaki and to lead efforts to make sure what happened there will never again happen anywhere. In Paris Mrs. Shimohira shares memories in a moving encounter with an Auschwitz survivor. She stirs high school students in London and New York City with her presence and description of the bomb and its effects. At the film's life affirming conclusion it is clear that student Haruka has become motivated to carry on Mrs. Shimohira's nuclear abolition message to young people around the world. "It's impossible to remain detached...Deeply affecting..." -New York Times "***(3 stars) A worthwhile effort to understand an event that should never be repeated. Recommended." -Video Librarian "****(4 stars) Impossible not to be moved" -Time Out Magazine "Shedding light on the dark corners of history... fascinating...alarming...the simple, earnest truth." -The Villager

Advertisement

Advertisement