White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)

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Movie Info

"White Light/Black Rain" offers a visceral, topical and moving portrait of the human cost of atomic warfare.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
HBO

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Critic Reviews for White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

No warning can really prepare you for these images of ashen corpses, maimed survivors and apocalyptic destruction, but in an age of renewed nuclear tension, there can be no question as to their relevance.

Full Review… | February 3, 2007
Salon.com
Top Critic

Film's sobering impact lets the images and witnesses' words speak for themselves.

Full Review… | January 31, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

A stirring and heart-wrenching statement of the horrible powers that mankind holds in its fist.

January 31, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Intelligent, often poignant, and valuable for offering an oral history by those who witnessed one of the most traumatic events of the 20th century.

October 12, 2007
Film Threat

To say that watching this footage is harrowing would be an understatement -- and to call watching it "painful" would be a serious insult to the survivors.

Full Review… | October 6, 2007
Bullz-Eye.com

[A] simple, apolitical reminder -- an act of passionate but clearheaded pleading -- that we must never forget the horrors of Japan in the summer of 1945.

Full Review… | August 6, 2007
Flick Filosopher

Audience Reviews for White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

½

Powerful! Everybody should see this documentary, and then tell me if we should nuke Iraq. It's, especially important with the situation in North Korea, and Iran. I believe that Nuclear technology, for weapons is the worst thing that has happened to the world.

Chris Hall
Chris Hall
½

On the technical and humanist fronts, this film hits it out of the park. It's exceptionally moving. However, I was a bit disappointed by how the event was framed by the terms determined by the United States military. I don't expect your average HBO documentary to answer the questions and conclude that Truman was a war criminal or that it was an inherently racist act because an A bomb would NEVER have been dropped on white Europeans. I don't find footage of Truman or accounts of technicians, scientists and military personnel in establishing the 'Why' of the bomb to be sufficient. Clearly, that's not the focus of the documentary, but it's effectiveness is watered down by such a powerful and clear-eyed view of the human cost without exploring how it was allowed to happen. One of the worst things about war and war-time documentaries is the tendency to present it all as natural. War just happens, like death just happens. Even if no one is pinned with the blame, war doesn't just happen. To its victims, war does just happen, but this naturalization is really dangerous, especially because I'm fairly certain that this view of war is directed almost exclusively toward Westerners, people whose governments start and wage wars. This oversight or lack of courage contributes to an ability of the citizens of the "free" world being able to sympathize with the victims of our militaries, while feeling that our countries are guiltless in causing suffering. It's an ideological coup, combining personal sentiment with political passivity and establishment thinking.

Courtney Smith
Courtney Smith
½

Very well done. But simply because a film about an important and emotionally charged topic, does not make the film great. Do not ask me what was missing from the film, because I do not know, but it felt like it was lacking something simple that could have made it much better.

Will Hoffman
Will Hoffman

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