Is Hollywood Still Afraid of the Truth About the Atomic Bomb?: Greg Mitchell on “Oppenheimer”
The movie Oppenheimer about J. Robert Oppenheimer — the “father of the atomic bomb” — focuses on Oppenheimer’s conflicted feelings about the weapons of mass destruction he helped unleash on the world, and how officials ignored those concerns after World War II as the Cold War started an arms race. Journalist Greg Mitchell says that while the film is well made and worth seeing, “the omissions are quite serious.” He says there is little mention of the dangers of radiation and no focus on the impact of the bomb on its victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The film also does not question the necessity of using the bomb in the first place, upholding the “official narrative … that has held sway since 1945,” says Mitchell. Mitchell is a documentary filmmaker and the author of numerous books, including The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood — and America — Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. He was editor of Nuclear Times magazine from 1982 to 1986 and has written about this new film for Mother Jones and on his Substack, and in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times headlined “'Oppenheimer' is here. Is Hollywood still afraid of the truth about the atomic bomb?”
Could “Oppenheimer” Help Inspire a New Anti-Nuclear Movement in the United States?
Part 2 of our interview with longtime journalist Greg Mitchell, who has written extensively about the new Hollywood film Oppenheimer, as well as U.S. nuclear weapons policy. He was editor of Nuclear Times magazine from 1982 to 1986. His books include The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood — and America — Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Hiroshima in America and Atomic Cover-up.