New Uncensored HBO Documentary on Hiroshima


Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. It was hands-down the scariest, most traumatic day in Japanese history. White Light, Black Rain, a new HBO documentary film by director Steven Okazaki portrays an honest, down-to-earth take of the atomic bomb and its impact on some of its most resilient survivors. I watched this last night with co-producer Taro Goto, who conducted all the Japan-based interviews with the hibakusha (and the Harajuku street kids who have no idea what 8/6/1945 signifies). Pretty intense. The survivors’ testimonials combined with entrancing music (the score includes tunes by Mogwai, Brian Eno, and Sigur Ros), eerily beautiful explosion scenes (like the never-before-seen footage of a hydrogen bomb experiment), and uncensored raw footage of the gruesome aftereffects of radiation make this film a must-see for those who can handle it.

Catch it on HBO to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the disastrous bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or get it on DVD (it came out today).

4 thoughts on “New Uncensored HBO Documentary on Hiroshima

  1. On the same topic I was quite appalled by the way Japan depicted their part in WWII at the “peace museum” in Nagasaki. It’s very shameful to pretend nothing happened in Korea and China.
    I think that the general public needs more documentaries about massacres perpetrated by Japan in these countries during WWII. The atomic bomb already has its fair share of documentary coverage IMHO, even if new original footage is always interesting.

  2. Yeah… I was shocked about the knowledge gap of teens not knowing about that. It is either ignorance by them or the teachers.
    I enjoyed the painting scene which depicts the pain caught the the explosion.

  3. The theater I work for screened this documentary for the public last March, and I went mostly for my own edification – as this is not a movie one goes to *enjoy*. It is, however, really well done. The director happily leaves himself out of the movie, letting the survivors tell their story and show their wounds. It’s sad and sometimes difficult to watch, but it’s more than worth your time.