White Light, Black Rain

Director: Steven Okazaki Time: 86 minutes. Color/B&W.

The controversial lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are endless, but this subtle yet striking movie touches many of them. Peabody and Academy Award winner Okazaki interviews Japanese survivors and American scientists, technicians, and flyboys, and digs up some fresh footage of the pre- and postblast cities and the blasts themselves. But he foregrounds the human aspects: the Enola Gay’s copilot appearing on This is Your Life to honor victims brought to the United States for treatment and asking, “What have we done?”; the survivors enduring ongoing illness and ineffectual treatments while explaining that even today they remain outcasts in Japan. Probing emotions from various sides, Okazaki poses questions that are as pressing now as they were in August 1945.


Originally published in the December 2007 issue of World War II Magazine. To subscribe, click here