Hiroshima at 75

Shôhei Imamura – Kuroi Ame AKA Black Rain (1989)

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A somber, visually distilled, and deeply affecting portrait of the human toll and uncalculated tragedy of nuclear holocaust. In contrast to Shohei Imamura’s characteristically unrefined, primitivistic, and subversively bawdy cinema, the film is shot in high contrast black and white, creating a spare and tonally muted chronicle of dignity, survival, community, and human resilience. Through recurring literal and figurative images of regression, Imamura conveys a dual meaning, not only in the community’s noble attempt to rebuild Hiroshima and return to a semblance of normal life after the annihilating bombing but also in their collective gradual and systematic erasure from Japanese society through long-term effects of radiation sickness, infertility, cultural (and geographic) isolation, and social stigmatization. Read More »

John Pilger – The Coming War on China (2016)

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When the United States, the world’s biggest military power, decided that China, the second largest economic power, was a threat to its imperial dominance, two-thirds of US naval forces were transferred to Asia and the Pacific. This was the ‘pivot to Asia’, announced by President Barack Obama in 2011. China, which in the space of a generation had risen from the chaos of Mao Zedong’s ‘Cultural Revolution’ to an economic prosperity that has seen more than 500 million people lifted out of poverty, was suddenly the United States’s new enemy. Read More »

Peter Nestler – Hiroshima (1981)

Based on Arata Osada’s book Children of the A-bomb: The Testament of the Boys and Girls of Hiroshima (1959) the film retells the horrors of the Hiroshima bombing through the eyes of children. It mainly consists of illustrations drawn by the children. Read More »

David Bradbury – Public Enemy Number One (1980)

Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett reported the Vietnam War from the perspective of the North Vietnamese. For this he was reviled as a traitor and a communist in the Australian media. He had been the first journalist into Hiroshima after the atom bomb, and he covered wars in Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea. Read More »

Steven Okazaki – White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)

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As global tensions rise, the unthinkable now seems possible. The threat of nuclear weapons of mass destruction has become frighteningly real. WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN: THE DESTRUCTION OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI, by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, looks at the reality of nuclear warfare with first-hand accounts from those who survived and whose lives were forever changed by the atomic bomb. Read More »

Anand Patwardhan – Jang Aur Aman AKA War & Peace (2002)

A marvellous documentary, one of the best Indian films of the last decade and the director’s greatest work. Banned by the national censor.

Documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s controversial War and Peace (2001) could well have been titled War and Peace: Or How I Learned to Forget Gandhi and Worship the Bomb, for the major theme that runs through the film is the disjunction that exists between the past and the present and a nation’s collective (and selective) cultural amnesia with respect to their own past. Shot in four countries – India, Pakistan, Japan and the USA – and over a period of four years following the 5 nuclear tests done by India in 1998, Patwardhan’s film was slammed by Pakistan for being anti-Pakistani and by India for being anti-Indian, while the film’s barrel was pointed elsewhere. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Resan AKA The Journey (1987)

A global peace film produced in 1983-86 by the Swedish Peace & Arbitration Society and local support groups in Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, USSR, Mexico, Japan, Scotland, Polynesia, Mozambique, Denmark, France, Norway, West Germany, with post-production support from the National Film Board in Montreal, Canada. Read More »