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Unforgettable Fire — Poster of the Week

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Unforgettable Fire

Hiroshima Appeal Committee & World Friendship Center

Offset, Circa 1982



Over the weekend, theaters around the world buzzed with excitement as enthusiastic moviegoers lined up to experience the much-anticipated double premiere of Barbie and Oppenheimer (or “Barbenheimer") on the big screen. Although both are critically acclaimed, Christopher Nolan's historical film, Oppenheimer, merits special attention. This thought-provoking film delves into the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the renowned American theoretical physicist, and his leadership in the Manhattan Project which created the atomic bomb, ushering in the Atomic Age.

The film reminds us that technological advances come with the potential for unintended consequences, and that not all scientific advances are progress. This stark truth becomes evident when we reflect on the upcoming solemn anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, which occurred on August 6, 1945, and August 9, 1945, respectively. These anniversaries are grim reminders of the devastating impact that weapons of mass destruction can inflict upon humanity. The detonations unleashed unimaginable destruction and their far-reaching consequences continue to haunt the lives of those who bore witness to the catastrophic blasts.

The impact of the Manhattan Project extended its reach beyond the devastation in Japan. As this monumental endeavor took shape in Los Alamos, New Mexico, numerous Indigenous and Latinx communities were forcibly displaced from their homes and lands. Moreover, the consequences of the nuclear test conducted at Los Alamos brought lingering effects of nuclear fallout, irradiating thousands

of nearby locals.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week, Unforgettable Fire, conveys the profound destruction of the atomic bomb through the atomic mushroom cloud. The statement on the poster powerfully encapsulates the far-reaching consequences of the atomic bomb, reminding us that "The bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki fell on America too." The creators of the poster, World Friendship Center (WFC), a non-profit peace organization established in 1965 in Hiroshima, Japan by Barbara Reynolds, is dedicated to providing a place to tell the stories of atomic bomb survivors.

As audiences are drawn into the mesmerizing storytelling and remarkable cinematography of Oppenheimer, we must heed the film's profound message. In an era where nuclear proliferation continues to be a pressing global concern, the film reminds us of the tremendous ramifications of nuclear weapons and their devastating impact on humanity and the environment. These weapons not only had a historical impact but continue to pose potential risks for the future.

The prevailing narrative justifying the use of the atomic bomb in 1945 continues to be controversial. Some claim it was necessary. Others claim it was directed against the Soviet Union. The film did not adequately address these questions.



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