Atom Smashers

As the headlines blare about national catastrophe in Japan, it may be worth remembering the nuclear incident in that country that ended World War II. That happens to be the subject of Atomic Mom, a documentary by director M.T. Silvia about her own mother’s involvement in the atomic energy division during the build-up to Hiroshima.

“My mother has guilt about her involvement,” Silvia told SRQ at the Cinema Tropicale event.

The film doesn’t just cover her own mother. It also follows a woman who was 8 and living in Hiroshima when the bombs dropped but survived the attack.

The touchy subject matter seemed to strike a nerve at the screening on Monday, Silvia says. One World War II veteran told her afterwards the film would have had more credibility if she also noted the bomb ended the war and saved thousands of lives. It wasn’t the only time this year that a war film elicited an emotional response from audience members at the festival this year.

But Silvia has been generally pleased with the reception to documentary has received. And at the other screening last Saturday, the film was only lauded.

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