On August 6, 1945, the world was changed forever when American forces dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, another similar bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, and shortly afterward Japan surrendered to the United States. The human cost was tremendous — 210,000 died in the immediate aftermath of the atomic attacks, and another 160,000 would later die of related illnesses and injuries.
While Japan would rebuild itself as an international economic power, the nation’s psyche still carries the scars of those fateful days in 1945, and award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki examines the lingering impact of the first two uses of thermonuclear weapons in the documentary White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In White Light/Black Rain, Okazaki talks with fourteen survivors of the 1945 attacks, ranging from an artist who has recounted his experience in comic art to a woman who was the only child out of 620 students to survive at a Hiroshima elementary school. White Light/Black Rain also features interviews with Americans involved in the attacks and probes their feelings about the use of the bombs sixty years later. White Light/Black Rain was an official selection at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.