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Oppenheimer Finally Opens in Japan, Eight Months After Global Release


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After winning seven Oscars, Oppenheimer, a film depicting the creation of the atomic bomb, has opened in the only country to have suffered its devastating effects. 

Universal Pictures left Japan off its release schedule for worldwide screenings, despite the country being a major market for Hollywood. 

The film was eventually picked up by independent film distributor Bitters End and released on Friday. 

Two young Japanese women wearing face masks looking at a film poster showing a white man in a suit and hat.

Christopher Nolan's biopic about US physicist J Robert Oppenheimer and the race to develop the atomic bomb has grossed more than $US953 million ($1.4 billion) since being released in July last year. 

But in Japan, his creation has left a permanent mark, after the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, which killed more than 200,000 people.

'Difficult to watch' for people in Hiroshima

Film goers in Hiroshima on Friday had a mixed response after seeing the film for the first time. 

Toshiyuki Mimaki survived the bombing of Hiroshima. He was three at the time.

"During the whole movie, I was waiting and waiting for the Hiroshima bombing scene to come on, but it never did," Mr Mimaki said. 

The film does not directly show the consequences of the atomic bomb. 

Instead, it focuses on Oppenheimer as a person and his internal conflicts.

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Cillian Murphy in a scene from "Oppenheimer."

Former Hiroshima mayor Takashi Hiraoka was critical of the film for lacking a Japanese perspective.

"The horror of nuclear weapons was not sufficiently depicted," Mr Hiraoka said.

"The film was made in a way to validate the conclusion that the atomic bomb was used to save the lives of Americans."

Kawai, 37, was also among those to see the film on its opening day.

"This is an amazing film which deserves to win the Academy Awards," he said.

"But the film also depicts the atomic bomb in a way that seems to praise it, and as a person with roots in Hiroshima, I found it difficult to watch."

A man wearing a grey suit poses for a photo in front of a background that says Oppenheimer on it.

Japanese director Takashi Yamazaki has previously said he would like to see a movie showing Japan's experience of the bomb. 

"I feel there needs to be an answer from Japan to Oppenheimer," he said in an online dialogue with director Christopher Nolan, who agreed with his sentiment. 


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"But the film also depicts the atomic bomb in a way that seems to praise it, and as a person with roots in Hiroshima, I found it difficult to watch."

Thought that said a lot more than the entire story.

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 OK the Bomb on Hiroshima killed approx 140,000 in one pop, but what about

  • France        350,000 Civilian Victims
  • India.        2,000,000 Civilian Victims
  • Korea.         400,000 Civilian Victims
  • China.      16,000,000 Civilian Victims
  • etc

In the overall scheme of things Japan got off pretty lightly compared to civilian deaths inflicted by the axis nations, you don’t hear the French crying over all the WWII movies set in France 



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Chap down the road at my place has a Mailbox supported on a large shell/projectile of some sort. Another place in Vientiane has a pair, vertically either side of his driveway like gate posts, but painted very realistically as King Penguins, beaks pointed skywards...

Très amusant.


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What is it with Hollywood's obsession with movies based around war?

Curious to know how many academy awards have gone to those such movies.

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