Why is a film made in 2023 STILL desperate to prove that America wasn’t infiltrated by Communists… when it so obviously was, asks PETER HITCHENS
“The film about the nuclear scientist Robert Oppenheimer is not just bad, noisy, hard to follow and far too long. It gets in the way of understanding one of the great events of our times.
I have been amazed by the way so many people have claimed to have enjoyed it. I endured it.
The only common complaints have been about the rather underpowered portrayal of the actual detonation of the first bomb on July 16, 1945. What were these complainers expecting? A blast-wave in the cinema? Apparently people think it is not spectacular enough.
I say, thank heaven for that. I have walked on the blasted nuclear testing grounds of the old Soviet Union in Kazakhstan, amid the total, desolate silence and seen the traces still left years afterwards: the vast, solid concrete slab, the size of a block of flats, tipped to a drunken angle by the blast; the shards of black glass all over the earth’s surface, mementoes of the day the heat of the bomb fused the desert sands into a sea of such glass; and the soft warnings of the scientists who accompanied me: ‘Do not linger here. Do not under any circumstances disturb the dust, in case you breathe it in. It is still lethal.’
Who needs another great big bang to know that this moment mattered? There is enough archive film of the tests and of the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for those who wish to know.