"The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is one of the most precious documents in human history. Indeed, images from this film reside in every mind on the planet as the first shocking views of the effects of atomic radiation. If you recall a moving image from the rubble, it was clipped from the wellspring of this documentary. That is because it was the only documentary made in the aftermath of the atomic bombings of 1945. Japanese filmmakers entered the two cities intent on making an appeal to the International Red Cross, but were promptly arrested by newly arriving American troops. The Americans and Japanese eventually worked together to produce this film, a science film unemotionally displaying the effects of atomic particles, blast and fire on everything from concrete to human flesh. No other filmmakers were allowed into the cities, and when the film was done the Americans crated everything up and shipped it to an unknown location. That footage is now lost. However, an American and a Japanese filmmaker each stole and hid a copy of the film, fearful that the reality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be hidden from history. Eventually, these prints surfaced, and became our only, precious archive of the aftermath of nuclear warfare. This is The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a film that everyone knows in part, yet has rarely seen in its entirety."
Abé Markus Nornes
Professor of Asian Cinema
University of Michigan
Author - Japanese Documentary Film, The Meiji Era through Hiroshima
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