WW2 and Hiroshima
The Second World War & Hiroshima

the atomic bomb
The Atomic Bomb


WW2 censorship
Second World War Censorship

the nuclear world today
The Nuclear World Today

discussion notes
Discussion Notes

citizenship & the curriculum
Citizenship & the Curriculum

Film Synopsis

President Franklin D. Roosevelt The film starts with an introduction about the history behind the development of the atomic bomb during President Roosevelt's term in office and Vice President Truman's ignorance of the project. American analysts then debate whether Truman's decision as President - after Roosevelt's death, was necessary to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The early censorship of information about the atomic bomb when it was being developed, and the debate over the need to drop the bombs is shown in interviews with the American Senator Mark O. Hatfield, and the American journalist and author of "Hiroshima and America" Greg Mitchell.

Later censorship of the effect of the atomic bomb in 1945 is told through the eyewitness accounts of two Americans who were part of the occupying forces - Senator Hatfield and Lt. Col. Daniel A. McGovern.Archive pictures from Hiroshima Peace Museum archives and Lt Col McGovern's personal footage accompany these descriptions.

This is a very powerful film. It combines clearly authenticated historical documentary with unsentimental, but very moving, personal accounts of survivors. I learnt a great deal from this video: much of it shocked, some of it made me very angry and most of it motivated me to learn and do more with regard to being a citizen in a global world. I would recommend it to anyone with an educational role or responsibility. Even if it is not suitable for the students with whom you work (because of age or subject limitations) I would recommend it for its own sake.

Karenza Passmore, Director, North East Religious Learning Resources Centre.

The censorship of the Japanese survivors is portrayed by survivors of Hiroshima themselves. Some of these survivors have not told their story to people outside their family before. The survivors relate how they were not able to talk about the atomic bomb when they were living under American occupation from 1945 to 1952. The survivors accounts of the day the bomb was dropped is shown together with archive photographs and film that was not shown to the outside world at the time.

Censorship of medical information, especially about the atomic bomb's unique radiation effects is told by one of the Japanese doctors who treated patients in Hiroshima, Dr Nakayama. The confiscation of autopsy material from Japanese corpses from the bombed area for fifty years is described by a radiation research doctor in Hiroshima's Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Dr Neriishi.

Finally the story of America' s aborted exhibition in 1995 about the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima is told by the ex-director of the national museum Dr Harvit. He tells of the objections to the showing of images of the Japanese civilians injured and killed by the bomb which led to the cancellation of the exhibit.

The film ends with a message from one of the Japanese survivors.