The Last Atomic Bomb
- Official Website
- Human Interest, Social Issues, History, and Foreign Worlds
"It's impossible to remain detached...Deeply affecting..." —New York Times
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.
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.
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.
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American and Russian nuclear weapons are modernizing, a growing and urgent problem. Memory is fading of the consequences of using nuclear weapons and why proliferation is so risky. No one knows this more than the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"***(3 stars) A worthwhile effort to understand an event that should never be repeated. Recommended."
"****(4 stars) Impossible not to be moved" —Time Out Magazine
"Shedding light on the dark corners of history... fascinating...alarming...the simple, earnest truth."
Other documentaries about the atomic bomb exist, but none include what is in this one, for the first time:
*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.
* 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.
"Indelible images...effectively explains the domestic and economic calculations that factored heavily in the decision to drop the bomb."
—Prof. William Hartung, New School University, author "And Weapons for All"
"Powerful" —TV Guide Movie Reviews
"Must see...important" —The Campus, CCNY
"Of great documentary significance and moral beauty — an essential gift to every generation of our nuclear age."" —Joanna Macy, author, activist
"Bracing, potent explorations of hot-button issues" —All Movie Reviews
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.
"An affecting portrait of the human costs of war." —Frida Berrigan, Arms Trade Resource Center
"Deeply impressed...beautifully made...even more germane than usual...thought-provoking and inspiring."
—Don Kelley, Voices of the Heartland
"A lesson in humanity." —Felicity Hill, Australia Medical Assoc. for the Prevention of War
"The definitive story" — Planet in Focus
"***(3 stars) Powerful" —AM New York
Producer Kathleen Sullivan is a disarmament educator, NGO representative at the United Nations, author, consultant and lecturer on nuclear issues. She is a key member of ICAN, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. This is her first film.
"Informative, compelling"—Asia Reporter "Persuasive"—New York Sun
"Harrowing"—Orlando Weekly "Haunting" —Asia Documentary Reviews
"Passionate" —Film and History Journal "Quite touching" —New York Magazine
"Urgent" —The Oregonian "Powerful" —Register Guard, Eugene
- Running time
- 92 minutes
- Robert Richter ... Producer, Director
- Kathleen Sullivan ... P:roducer
- Alan Jacobsen ... Cinematographer
- Shinpei Takeda ... Interpreter
- Prod. Co.
- Richter Productions
- United States
- Years of Production
- Release year
- San Diego Asian, Sao Paolo Intl, Film Festival; , Goais (Brazil) Intl; Planet in Focus (Toronto), Global Peace (Orlando), NY Peace (opening night film), Turkey, Italy, UK, Japan, Germany India.
- Best Documentary; Audience Award for Best Documentary; Press Award; CINE Golden Eagle
- Nagasaki 60th year commemorations, UN in NY & Geneva, intl nuclear disarmament conferences, u niversities
- English, Japanese
- English Subtitles
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