Set in the three weeks from the first test explosion in New Mexico to the eventual dropping of the bomb, the action takes viewers into the room where the crucial political decisions are made; on board the Enola Gay on her fateful voyage; inside the bomb as it explodes; and on the streets of Hiroshima when disaster strikes. Parallel storylines interweave, unfolding the action from both US and Japanese perspectives, and revealing the tensions and conflicts in the actions and minds of people who were making history. Special effects recreate the reality of the mission - even going inside the workings of the bomb - and archive film replays the horrific aftermath.
The film follows the development of the A-bomb, an exercise in theoretical physics and maths until the first one is detonated in the desert. The scientists and military watch the countdown, not quite certain that the explosion will be as predicted ... or might trigger a chain reaction and consume the entire world. The director of the project, Robert Oppenheimer, would walk away conscious of the full horror of what they had just unleashed.
But Germany has surrendered. There has been no call to drop a nuclear weapon on Cologne, Hamburg, or Berlin. Japan remains, and the US policy of island hopping has proved expensive in lives. To invade Japan, to face the prospect of an entire population willing to die rather than surrender? That is a prospect American politicians and military cannot countenance. Fire bombing Japanese cities has not brought about surrender. Might use of a nuclear weapon?
We follow the politics, the military logic, the tragedies of decision-making. Hiroshima has remained unbombed. The military want it preserved intact so they can evaluate, with precision, the effects of the nuclear bomb. The city is a pawn in the game ... a long game, for a working A-bomb will give the USA world domination. It's not a question of ending this war, it's already a question of winning the next one.Read more ›
You are left with the shocking fact that because of the resulting radiation, the aftermath is still very real today some 60 years on, and did it really cut the loss of life after all?
One point to me, which said it all... This was just an experiment the US continued.
Only initially tested days earlier, and very much still an experiment, to the extent that the crew of the Enola Gay had to improvise the bomb trigger to avoid taking off with the bomb fully armed. The use of two other B29's to record as much information as possible was another shocking revelation to me.
This DVD is a good starting point for anyone wanting to begin research into the Japanese involvement during WW2, Ironically because it shows their total collapse and surrender, after the dropping of the second bomb on Nagasaki.
A very thought provoking watch....