Nadja – Now I Am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds

J. Robert Oppenheimer

I remember last year looking for a film about Hiroshima to put on the blog on the anniversary of the bombing – and not finding one, or at least not one that was satisfactory.

Up till now, although there are plenty of good films about the second world war, but I still haven’t seen a film that has come anywhere near to doing this subject justice – maybe it is impossible, maybe it is just too awesome or beyond comprehension, I am not sure.

One of the most telling statements ever made about that fateful day was by the man who led the project to develop the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who in the 1965 documentary The Decision to Drop the Bomb said:

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that one way or another.

The video that follows includes footage of Oppenheimer making this speech but not the speech itself, and the bulk of the film is made up of filmed recordings of the awful destructive power of the atomic bomb filmed at various times and places and set to the music of Nadja, a Canadian drone doom band.

Imagine what it would mean being situated anywhere near this bomb when it went off, I think the footage gives some idea of the really terrible and indiscriminate damage that it does.

And let us remember not only the victims of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also the victims of nuclear power at Chernobyl, Fukushima and elsewhere, and the legacy we are leaving to the future by poisoning our Earth for tens of thousands of years to come.


if this video is no longer available please leave a comment so I can update the page


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