In the aftermath of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US Strategic Bombing Survey arrived in Japan in late July 1945 to assess the impact of the two explosions. They brought with them a Hollywood quality film crew. What they witnessed was so disturbing that all the footage was classified “Top Secret” and locked away in the National Archives. Finally released in the late 1980’s, the footage became the focal point of this documentary. Members of the film crew were located and they described sequences they hadn’t reviewed for nearly forty years. We go inside a hospital in Hiroshima where 15,00 patients were under the care of half a dozen doctors. The film crew documented the unique impact of the bomb. The film crew captured keloid formations that would appear across the side of the body exposed to the blast a month later. Just one of the unique impacts from the bomb captured on film.
Behind The Scenes
A film slate from the original footage provided crew names lost through time. The director and cameraman where located and interviewed. The sound reels didn’t survive but the director kept a copy of the audio from one scene: the Christmas eve service in the bombed out remains of Nagasaki’s Catholic cathedral. He filmed the choir in white silk headdress singing Silent Night in Japanese. He felt the audio needed to be preserved and didn’t trust the Pentagon. The film brought the sound and picture back together.