No More Hiroshima, No More Nagasaki
The National Film Board Colin Low Award Winner for Best Canadian Documentary, “No More Hiroshima, No More Nagasaki”, is a powerful telling of the horrendous disaster of the August 1945 nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed and countless more died slowly of radiation. Only a few are still alive to tell the story.
In No More Hiroshima, No More Nagasaki, we meet remaining survivors of the world's first and only nuclear war and hear their heart-wrenching stories. We watch images as the survivors describe in detail their personal experiences while on the very ground when the atomic bombs where dropped in the two cities. Survivors of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known as Hibakusha. The only visual record of those first moments of horror on the ground is in the artwork created by Hibakusha. Almost nothing remains to show us the Hiroshima and Nagasaki that existed before the atomic bombs devastated their lives. Images of this artwork haunt the screen as we listen to the Hibakusha tell us their story how through survival comes the courage to live. And their message is the same; peace must prevail with the lessons learnt from this colossal human force of war and destruction.
“No matter how hard the life is, please keep on living with courage,” says Sakue Shimohira, who was only 10 years old when her city of Nagasaki was A-bombed. “I remember the flash,” she recalls while reminding us of the ongoing physical agony caused by radiation, “Even though we survived, we often become ill.” Joe Ohori, a Japanese-Canadian was only 14 years old in 1945 when he was sent to Japan to study and just happened to be outside of Hiroshima during the A-bombing and recollects, ”I was lucky. Was it my luck? All of those people who took the train after me died.”
Sunao Tsuboi describes writing “Tsuboi dies here” on the pavement when he was 20 years old living in Hiroshima immediately after the A-bombing and Jack Ford, a Canadian Prisoner of War in Nagasaki remembers, “You could see from where we were, perhaps a mile, mile and a quarter away… Everything was just flattened. Now by that time there were people running and screaming in all directions. Burnt like a piece of raw meat.”
Sumiteru Taniguchi was just 16 years old when Nagasaki was A-bombed. He vividly reminds us of the lack of humanitarian relief at the time, “There was no treatment. My condition was getting weaker and I became only skin and bones.” Kazuo Tanaka was barely 4 years old when he recollects Hiroshima, “I was atom-bombed. I felt I was used as a guinea pig.” Their stories continue to resonate as we watch clips from the past describing the atom bomb and the United States involvement and today’s global race to develop more nuclear weapons.
The story continues tugging at our sensibility with Masaru Tanaka, an artist and second-generation Hibakusha, “I know that my father was Hibakusha. I noticed the scars on his legs, but he had never expressed his pain nor talked about his experience.” Peace activists also speak out to us against nuclear proliferation for when country after country continue to stockpile and build more and more nuclear weapons, the film reminds us about the human tragedy and unimaginable destruction caused by warfare of this magnitude.