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The Last Atomic Bomb

Terror on repeat
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  August 1, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars

It’s difficult to criticize a documentary about the horror of nuclear warfare and how to prevent it from happening again. Although veteran documentarian Robert Richter’s timely wake-up call is moving (read: terrifying), it’s also repetitive. Richter — who’ll be present at this screening — focuses on one 70-year-old hibakusha, or survivor of Nagasaki, and her attempt to share her experience, remind people of what happened, and urge everyone (from presidents to high-school kids) to take steps toward disarmament. She talks of her parents being burned alive, her brother dying of radiation sickness, her sister committing suicide. She talks of charred limbs, eyeballs dangling from the sockets of still-living people, guts pouring out. But it all loses impact in the retellings. Otherwise, the archive footage chills, as does the segment on the way the US press was banned from showing the physical results of the bomb. The Last Atomic Bomb shows that it could happen again and makes clear that it never, ever should.
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