Why Hollywood Ignores Hiroshima

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American cinema
is omnivorous. It has swallowed almost every subject from the trivial
to great historical events, and then spewed them up. However, there
is one subject it has refused to tackle directly: the bombing of
Hiroshima and its consequences.

As it is now
65 years since the horrific event, the omission seems even more
astounding. Is there is an element of collective guilt because the
US is the only country ever to have used a nuclear weapon on a civilian
population? It cannot be because the subject is too appalling to
depict, since many other horrendous happenings have been portrayed
graphically in American films.

The only references
that American cinema, commercial or otherwise, has made to Hiroshima
have been oblique. During the cold war, MGM produced Above
and Beyond
(1952), based on the experiences of Colonel Paul
Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the first aircraft to drop
an atomic bomb. The film makes the oft-repeated argument that the
bombing was justified because it contributed to the ending of the
second world war, yet it seemed more concerned with the effects
it had on the pilot’s relationship with his wife.

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17, 2010

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