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Forgotten Bomb (2010)

Bud Ryan , George Shultz , Stuart Overbey  |  NR |  DVD

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Editorial Reviews

When the Cold War ended, the generations that lived through it were relieved to finally vanquish the specter of a mushroom cloud from their minds. But today, thousands of nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia remain on high-alert, still poised to destroy the planet. In Japan, atomic bomb survivors struggle with nightmarish memories and negative health effects; atomic veterans, down-winders, and atomic workers around the globe also continue to suffer from the effects of radiation exposure. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 may have temporarily damaged the soul of Japan, but has anyone ever taken an account of what the Bomb has done, and continues to do, to the soul of the country that dropped it? How might we alter the soul of a nation in order to truly live without the threat of total destruction? In a globe-trotting journey through various perspectives on nuclear weapons, filmmaker Bud Ryan takes us from the Peace Museums of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the Nuclear Science museums of the United States; to the place that birthed the atomic bomb, (and cares for it still) the state of New Mexico, where Ryan now lives. Featuring former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, authors Gar Alperovitz and Jonathan Schell, Japanese bomb survivors, and many others, THE FORGOTTEN BOMB explores our pre-conceptions about nuclear weapons and their history, investigates how they inform our sense of identity and discovers what the Bomber can learn from the Bombed.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I saw this screened in San Jose, CA, completely unsure what to expect. What I discovered was an extremely thoughtful approach to a terrifying subject. The issue of nuclear armaments is not dead, and it is dangerously unstable. While it might be easy to make a film that basically runs through the streets yelling "fire!" on such a topic, the film takes a much more nuanced approach. Certainly it delivers it's moments of dread (forest fires approaching nuclear storage?!). But also has elements of humor and pathos. I would recommend this film, especially to anyone that feels like the nuclear weapon problem is in the past. It ain't just loose nukes that are a worry.

Also, this film was made before the Fukushima reactor disaster. It's relevance did not take long to be proven.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrenching and Enlightening -- A Must-See! January 18, 2012
By Gamma
I grew up in the 40's and 50's when the Japanese were still viewed as the enemy and the decision to drop the two atomic bombs as Truman's finest hour. This documentary reached into the dark corners of my mind and swept it clean of any lingering misconceptions remaining from that period. The Forgotten Bomb ranges widely and delves deeply into the issues surrounding nuclear weaponry. It is carefully researched and intelligently presented, but it is also heartrending and eye-opening. It pulled me out of my cultural box and forced me to see -- always a good thing! Five enthusiastic stars!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, entertaining doc! January 14, 2012
I got a chance to see this movie and was blown away by the scope and delivery of the information. I highly recommend Forgotten Bomb to anyone who wants to more about the subject matter or folks who think they know it all- they'll be amazed by the depth and insight!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Legit message movie marred by absurd claims June 30, 2013
JFK was assassinated because he was anti-nuke? Wow. That was the first time I'd heard that claim made. This amateurish, but good-looking, home movie sports a quite unlikeable narrator who guides us through his vision of why nuclear bombs and energy are terrible for mankind. They are, and I don't argue that point. You'll feel manipulated, however, as you slog through this silliness, marred by all kinds of ridiculous fictional moments cooked up in service of the director's message. Japan was ready to surrender in WW2 and dropping the bombs were unethical and simply revenge for Pearl Harbor? Um, maybe, but what about the millions of suicidal Japanese who were ready to die before ever giving up?
If you have any knowledge of history, you'll probably be able to see through some of these zany moments. Still, I'd watch this because there is a valid point made that the world is still very much at risk from all the many nuclear weapons that still populate the earth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening March 18, 2012
This movie had interviews with many experts and well-documented, intelligent, and compelling conclusions. The film maker thoughtfully explored the reality that the nuclear threat is still very much an issue despite the end of the cold war. I highly recommend this film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Get a starkly honest view February 9, 2012
By John L
Do yourself a favor, don't have an opinion on whether bombing Nagasaki was the right thing to do until you get some facts. The movie gives you a balanced view of the laws of intended and unintended consequences. We can wave the American Flag and be patriotic, but don't do it with ignorance. See some of the greatest minds of our times wrestle with this issue. Too often, Americans base very strong opinions on very little thought, background, or data. This movie will help you objectively see the A-bomb. Then you can make a decision on whether you feel its use is warranted. Excellent movie. Well done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see movie. January 23, 2012
Full of astounding information that has virtually no resemblance to what we have been led to believe. Duck and cover... ha! Presented in an intimate, human, informative, and very credible way. The stories of the survivors are unbelievable. Thank you!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
Though I kind of wish I hadn't watched it. Knowing human nature and the then-unknown uselessness of Obama, it's very depressing.
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. DJM
1.0 out of 5 stars So ludicrous, it makes Michael Moore look reasonable by comparison
Honestly, I¡¦m not much into writing reviews. However, I just had to share my experiences with the world and save them from the grueling agony that is this horrid... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Eric Blair
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This film's message could not be more timely, and it is delivered with a quiet intelligence...fascinating...I could not look away. Read more
Published on January 22, 2012 by Burks Harkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Ditto
I saw the movie over a month ago but it has stuck with me in ways that few other movies/documentaries do. I happen to read the reviews written by others so far out of curiosity. Read more
Published on January 20, 2012 by Jozef FM DEGROOT
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and thought-provoking
The Forgotten Bomb is a meticulously crafted documentary, thoroughly researched and presented. The producers traveled the continental US and Japan to bring us conversations with... Read more
Published on January 19, 2012 by Paba
5.0 out of 5 stars Great................
I'm really excited about this movie. I just saw Frontline's Fukishima coverage and was frightened by the amount of information engineers had ahead of time and didn't heed the... Read more
Published on January 18, 2012 by Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See
This excellent documentary is like many films in one: the impact on people, the environment, politics, war and peace, advocacy, nuclear science, etc. Read more
Published on January 18, 2012 by Tish
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