White Light / Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
“This is the story of the only people to have survived a nuclear attack.”
Featuring interviews with fourteen atomic bomb survivors, many of whom have never spoken publicly before, and four Americans intimately involved in the bombings, WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN provides a detailed exploration of the bombings and their aftermath. In a succession of riveting personal accounts, the film reveals both unimaginable suffering and extraordinary human resilience. Survivors (85% of victims were civilians) not vaporized during the attacks (140,000 died in Hiroshima, 70,000 in Nagasaki) continued to suffer from burns, infection, radiation sickness and cancer (another 160,000 deaths). As Sakue Shimohira, ten years old at the time, says of the moment she considered killing herself after losing the last member of her family: I realized there are two kinds of courage the courage to die and the courage to live.
Other survivors include: Kiyoko Imori, just blocks from the hypocenter, she is the only survivor of an elementary school of 620 students. Keiji Nakazawa, who lost his father, brother and two sisters, then devoted his life to re-telling his story in comic books and animation. Shuntaro Hida, a young military doctor at the time, began treating survivors immediately after the explosion and, 60 years later, continues to provide care for them. Etsuko Nagano still cant forgive herself for convincing her family to come to Nagasaki, just weeks before the bombing. With a calm frankness that makes their stories unforgettable, the survivors bear witness to the unfathomable destructive power of nuclear weapons. Their accounts are illustrated with survivor paintings and drawings, historical footage and photographs, including rare or never before seen material.