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Film
A still from the animated documentary, Day of the Western Sunrise, about 23 crew members of a fishing boat, who survived the atomic bomb test in the Bikini Atoll in 1954. (DALIBORKAfilms)

A still from the animated documentary, Day of the Western Sunrise, about 23 crew members of a fishing boat, who survived the atomic bomb test in the Bikini Atoll in 1954. (DALIBORKAfilms)

Film on nuclear weapons testing to screen

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During Earth Week in Yellow Springs, a new documentary film will screen on the infamous Castle Bravo nuclear test and the history and legacy of U.S. nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific.

“Day of the Western Sunrise” will be shown on Tuesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. at the Little Art Theatre. A question and answer session with Pittsburgh filmmaker Keith Reimink will follow the 76-minute film. While the film is free to attend, a $5 recommended donation will support the filmmaker. The event is cosponsored by the Peace Resource Center at Wilmington College.

In the Castle Bravo test on the morning of March 1, 1954, on an island in the central Pacific, the United States detonated the most powerful atomic bomb it would ever test. In less than a second, the 15-megaton nuclear device created a fireball 4.5 miles across in a blast 1,000 times more powerful than each of the bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What happened next was devastating. Winds spread the contamination from the larger-than-expected explosion over a massive 7,000-square mile area. Hundreds of native residents of the Marshall Islands, along with 23 Japanese fisherman, were irradiated, while the ecosystem of the island chain was irrevocably devastated. After an astonishing 210 megatons were detonated in the air and waters of the Pacific, nuclear testing was halted there in 1958, and the U.S. began testing underground. Radiation remains in the Pacific, however.

Reimink interview several of the surviving Japanese fisherman. He also incorporates original animation into the documentary to retell the story of Castle Bravo.

For more information and to view the trailer, visit: http://daliborkafilms.com.

 

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