Friday, January 13, 2012
THE FORGOTTEN BOMB, the 2010 documentary by Bud Ryan and Stuart Overbey, takes us back to the beginnings of nuclear weaponry through to its current (and unfortunately thriving) state. The movie is part history (told closer to correct than we Americans have usually been given it), part overview, part warning and even, against all odds, part celebration of what human beings might do -- if only they united to some extent and put their minds and hearts to the task of de-nuclearizing the world.
Countdown to Zero, this five-minute-longer movie (94 against Countdown's 89) is much quieter, thoughtful and inclusive of other opinions besides those of its makers. In addition, unlike Countdown, which strove to scare us by describing a future nuclear catastrophe, The Forgotten Bomb goes back to history and shows -- and tells (toward the end of the film, a survivor recites her story, one of the most harrowing accounts I've yet heard) -- what Hiroshima and Nagasaki were like.
Mutually Assured Deterrence (MAD, a fine acronym) is still with us, the movie points out, and by the close of the film, you will have a difficult time not believing that America -- hell, the whole world -- is in love with and worships Thanatos. Good luck. Although I must say that the penultimate words of one talking head (John Dear, a Jesuit priest and author) about real Christianity brought sudden tears to my eyes. And I not ever religious. But what this man has to say hit a nerve, I guess.
Cinema Libre Studio, makes its DVD debut this coming Tuesday, January 17 -- for sale only at this point, as neither Netflix nor Blockbuster plans to carry it. Perhaps it'll be stream-able some day soon. Hope so, for this one deserves a wide audience.