To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, an extraordinary new documentary film, Hiroshima: 75 Years Later, will premiere next month on History.
Featuring recently declassified U.S. and Japanese colour archival footage and audio from survivors, scientists and the military never-before-seen on television – this revealing two-hour film recounts one of the most shocking and sobering moments in international wartime history, from the making of the bombs to the horrifying devastation that it caused in Hiroshima and then Nagasaki.
Within days of the bombing of Nagasaki, officials at the Tokyo-based news company, Nippon Eigasha, made a decision to shoot a film in the two stricken cities. The crew proceeded to film the utter destruction near ground zero as well as inside the hospitals treating the victims and those suffering from the lingering effects of radiation.
However, on October 24, 1945, a Japanese cameraman in Nagasaki was ordered to stop shooting by an American military policeman. His film, and then the rest of the 25,000 feet of Nippon Eigasha footage, was confiscated by the U.S. General Headquarters. However, several weeks later, a US army filmmaker by the name of Daniel McGovern convinced the military to let them finish filming. Under McGovern’s supervision, the team completed their project and edited the footage down to a three-hour film for US audiences. The film was titled The Effects of Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and was sent back to the US with the intention of being released. But upon its arrival, it was quickly deemed top-secret and suppressed by the US government.
The footage, now declassified, features in this intimate and immersive film, which follows a chronological timeline from the day the first atomic bomb was dropped to a year later as reconstruction began, and explores why the bomb was dropped, what the victims and US soldiers on the ground witnessed, how humanity rebuilds after a nuclear apocalypse, and finally, its impact on the world we live in today.
Hiroshima: 75 Years Later, will premiere on Wednesday, August 5 at 7.30pm AEST, available to stream on Foxtel and watch on HISTORY.