“Oppenheimer” premiered in Japan and these were the audience reactions

What you need to know:

How did the Japanese react to the (late) premiere of “Oppenheimer” in Japan?

It premiered in July 2023 OppenheimerChristopher Nolan’s latest feature film and one of the most anticipated films of last season. It deals with the story of the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” with Cillian Murphy in the lead role The highest-grossing biopic in history grossed more than $900 million Worldwide.

But This figure does not take into account the Japanese market, as the film was only released in cinemas on March 29, 2024. That’s how it is. Eight months after the official premiere of Oppenheimerafter receiving numerous awards including the Oscar for Best Film, It was hardly released in the country where the story’s protagonist appears on screen.

And the reactions of both the audience and some political figures did not take long to arrive – for better or for worse. Survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, mayors of both cities and regular spectatorsgave their opinion on it Oppenheimer. But what did they say?

The historical mistake that many didn't notice in the film
Christopher Nolan used United States flags that do not correspond to the year in which the story of “Oppenheimer” takes place / Photo: Universal Pictures.

“They used the bomb to save themselves”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The former mayor of Hiroshima, Takashi Hiraoka, was not very happy with this Oppenheimer. The politician spoke at an event before the film screening and mentioned some omissions in the film.

From Hiroshima’s perspective, the horror of nuclear weapons was not sufficiently portrayed. The film was made that way concludes that the atomic bomb was dropped to save American livesTakashi said.

Nolan explores little Oppenheimer the direct effects of the bombing. Name some of the fatal consequences for the population and the destruction of cities. But in reality the film focuses on the scientist’s inner struggle how they “twisted” the bombs’ raison d’être in order to use them.

Kitty Puening and Jean Tatlock, the women who shaped Robert Oppenheimer's life
Katherine and Robert Oppenheimer on a trip to Japan/Photo: Getty Images

“The scene never came”

For Toshiyuki MimakiWhen Oppenheimer, a survivor of the Hiroshima bomb (he was 3 years old) and now leader of a group of bomb victims, the decisive moment failed to materialize. The entire movie I waited and waited for the Hiroshima bombing scene, but it never happened.“.

However, he said that the Japanese started the attack on Pearl Harbor They started a war they knew they couldn’t win. And the consequences were fatal given the US response by using two atomic bombs.

Here is the first teaser for Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan's next film
Cillian Murphy in “Oppenheimer”/Photo: Universal Pictures

A lawyer named Hiroyuki Shinju said this Oppenheimer It acts as a starting point to publicize the legitimacy of the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is a point for reflection about these artifacts and wars.

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But he also mentioned that this is part of reality Japan also worked on producing nuclear weapons during World War II and believes they used them against their enemies. But does it matter if that didn’t happen?

What happened is this In each of the attacks, more than 10,000 people died immediately, and thousands more lost their lives as the days and weeks passed. And not only that, the effects of the emitted radiation are still valid. All this without mentioning the cultural and social consequences for the Japanese.

Bomb Hiroshima 1945 Japan
Mushroom cloud from the explosion of an atomic bomb in Hiroshima / Photo: Getty Images.

Is Oppenheimer an anti-war film?

Since it was released Oppenheimer, There was a debate (not much to be honest) about whether it was an anti-war film. And on this page we believe not, because although the effects of using atomic bombs during a conflict are traced sideways, the true horror of war or the use of the same weapons is not made clear.

As we told you, Nolan examined in depth the moral, ethical and therefore scientific conflicts in the creation of the bomb under Oppenheimer’s command in the Manhattan Project. That was the British director’s goal and he achieved it.

But many believe that To become a film of historical relevance beyond its cinematic significance, it had to delve deeper into the fatal consequences of not only the bomb’s existence, but also its use. And that, in a way, would have reinforced Oppenheimer’s own inner conflict about his involvement in creation.

The more than 20,000-foot cloud in Nagasaki after the detonation of the Fat Man bomb on August 9, 1945. / Getty Images

But that doesn’t happen in the film. And in the same way, Nor can we say that Oppenheimer is a film that opposes the construction and development of nuclear weapons. I would have gotten to this point in the speech if he had shown again how terrible the use of bombs is and how it changes the entire narrative of a country.

The film creates a reaction of astonishment at the bomb’s creation process that goes beyond the moral conflict of the creator himself. It focuses even more on the disagreements between Oppenheimer and Strauss within US politics and the possible impact on its residents that goes beyond the impact of citizenship in Japan and the terrible impact on social, economic, cultural and political levels.

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