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).