The movie ‘Oppenheimer’ is a biographical movie about the life of the builder of the first atomic bomb .

The antiseptic treatment of its subject matter, with a different title and stage sets, ‘Oppenheimer is a movie that could have been made from the biographical point of view of the technicians and Drs who worked on the Holocaust.

It is telling that this movie is not being released in Japan.

The movie concentrates on two topics, the technical development and construction of the first nuclear weapon, interweaved with screenplay taken from transcripts of Oppenheimer’s later persecution for not being an enthusiastic cheerleader for nuclear weapons, particularly over the development of the hydrogen bomb.

In 1943 Oppenheimer had one technical scientific task to accomplish. Using the discovery of radioactive isotopes to deliberately manufacture, at great expense and effort, enough of this newly discovered fissionable material to smash together to achieve criticality, that atomic theory predicted would create an explosive atomic chain reaction. (the movie makes the point that the theory was unclear whether or not, or where, the nuclear chain reaction would stop). Oppenheimer’s mission was to design and build the weapon that could achieve criticality, he did it, not knowing for certain that he wouldn’t ignite the atmosphere and blow up the world.

Oppenheimer agreed to the task because scientists in his country’s enemy, Germany, were were attempting to do the same.

Oppenheimer achieved his goal and created his weapon, but only after Germany had been defeated.

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After Germany’s defeat, Oppenheimer continued working on the atomic bomb and actively participated in the nuclear bombing of civilian targets in Japan.

According to the movie, Oppenheimer personally selected the population of Hiroshima as the first target. Oppenheimer advised the US air force on the perfect altitude at which to detonate the bomb over Hiroshima for maximum effect.

Following the successful dropping of atomic bombs on the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the movie depicts the actor playing Oppenheimer as saying, ‘I wish we could have used this weapon on the Germans’. I don’t know if this statement which was made after the fact of the nuclear bombing of Japan, is an accurate quote or not. He obviously had no remorse then, whether Oppenheimer later suffered remorse or not, is beside the point.

Nuclear weapons have been called ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ WMDs, they are not.
Nuclear weapons are principally weapons of mass murder, genocide.

The movie ‘Oppenheimer fails because it refuses to address and glosses over this fact, and doesn’t depict it.


Patrick O’Dea is a staunch Unionist and human rights activist

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