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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ICU (Japan) chapter.

On March 29, 2024, the 3-hour biographical drama was released in Japan. The delay was due to the worldwide opening last July was only weeks before the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki — on August 6 and August 9, respectively — during the final days of World War II. On May 11, the Her Campus writing team visited the cinema to watch the movie and decided to collaborate on an article, sharing our reviews and thoughts. As students at a university in Japan, we deeply felt many emotions and were moved by the movie’s portrayal and our interpretation of its message.

Rina’s Review of the Film.

Stepping out of the cinema, I was struck with the harsh reality that this was the country where two deadly nuclear bombs were dropped. I was overwhelmed with pain and found myself crying for those innocent lives lost in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and for our ancestors who lost their families, friends, and loved ones. Although I had learned about the bombings from a young age, seeing the reenactment was deeply painful, even for someone who did not experience the event firsthand.

It was particularly painful when Julius Robert Oppenheimer explained the justifications for using the nuclear bomb on the Japanese when one of his colleagues had asked about the moral implications of it. I also felt pain when the movie showed Harry S. Truman and other authorities nonchalantly discussing the locations for dropping the bombs, revealing how it was these were the men who decided the fate of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.

The movie portrayed Oppenheimer’s excitement and passion for creating the bomb and his regret over its use. This was illustrated through scenes of two blinding flashes of light, a burn victim appearing before him after his congratulatory speech, and his visions swaying with the ground shaking. 

I believe the movie attempted to convey the American perspective on the bomb while also highlighting the terror of political pressure and the power held by authorities who make life-and-death decisions. This applies to many countries that have experienced war. The film also portrayed the competition between states, stemming from insecurity and the desire to catch up, which put countless lives at risk. I sensed that Christopher Nolan tried to depict Oppenheimer’s story without justifying the bomb’s creation and use.

Ayana’s Review of the Film

A 3-hour biopic that does not feel like 3 hours, full of my favorite actors (l love you, Florence Pugh), and sound effects that made me jump in my seat several times. Such an important film that can be an incentive to start a conversation about the atomic bomb,

As a citizen of 被爆国, there were, of course, some scenes, more like a lot of scenes, that made me uncomfortable and angry. However, I think that Oppenheimer offered me an opportunity to see the atomic bomb from the US perspective, which I never thought to do or got to do. 

Re-learning about the Manhattan Project and the whole reason the US decided to bomb Japan was such a shock but a reality I needed to face. The pressure from the government, considering the US’s position during that time, is something I never learned in Japan’s education system.

With that being said, though, part of me thinks that Oppenheimer should’ve known how inhumane the atomic bomb was the moment the experiment was conducted, not right after the bomb was dropped and him regretting his decisions made me irritated. Nonetheless, I do think the director, Christopher Nolan did a perfect job portraying Oppenheimer’s inner feelings. 

If you haven’t watched the film, I hope this can be a sign for you to watch it !

Chinatsu’s Review of the film


Saya’s Review of the film





Nala’s Review of the Film


Rina Muguruma

ICU (Japan) '26

Hi I'm Rina, I live with 3 cats and I love to read and write.
Ayana Hatanaka

ICU (Japan) '26

Hi! I'm Ayana, currently studying in ICU! I love music and going to concerts!
chinatsu sato

ICU (Japan) '28

I am interested in many thing. Specially, I like to research about the trend of fashion and music, travelling, dancing and reading books. Also, I am interested in reading articles about international relationships, so I want to write about them.
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Saya Ishida

ICU (Japan) '28

I have lived in four countries, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Japan, so I’m interested in South East Asia! I love to eat, sleep, learn new culture. I also love nature, especially to see flowers, sunsets and oceans. It’s the best way to relax. I have been doing Japanese calligraphy for 10 years. I used to be in table tennis and soccer club, and I’m in lacrosse club right now!<3 I’m looking forward to develop my writing skills in her campus!!:))
Nala Jang

ICU (Japan) '28

I love writing! ;-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))