Jojo Rabbit is a 2019 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows), based on Christine Leunens‘s book Caging Skies. Roman Griffin Davis portrays the title character, Johannes “Jojo” Betzler, a Hitler Youth member who finds out his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. He must then question his beliefs, while dealing with the intervention of his imaginary friend, a fanciful version of Adolf Hitler (Waititi). The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, and Sam Rockwell. (wiki)
The Divergent Series is a feature film trilogy based on the Divergent novels by the American author Veronica Roth. the series consists of three science fiction films set in a dystopian society. The first film in the series was directed by Neil Burger, while the second and third films were directed by Robert Schwentke. (wiki)
Last year, the astrophysicist Adam Frank implored an audience at Google that we see climate change – and the newly baptised geological age of the Anthropocene – against this cosmological backdrop. The Anthropocene refers to the effects of humanity’s energy-intensive activities upon Earth. Could it be that we do not see evidence of space-faring galactic civilisations because, due to resource exhaustion and subsequent climate collapse, none of them ever get that far? If so, why should we be any different?
A few months after Frank’s talk, in October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s update on global warming caused a stir. It predicted a sombre future if we do not decarbonise. And in May, amid Extinction Rebellion’s protests, a new climate report upped the ante, warning: “Human life on earth may be on the way to extinction.”
… apocalyptic prophecies are designed to reveal the ultimate moral meaning of things. It’s in the name: apocalypse means revelation. Extinction, by direct contrast, reveals precisely nothing and this is because it instead predicts the end of meaning and morality itself – if there are no humans, there is nothing humanly meaningful left.
timespace coordinates: 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s United States, the Marshall Islands
The Atomic Cafe is a 1982 American documentary film produced and directed by Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty. In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States’ National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The film covers the beginnings of the era of nuclear warfare, created from a broad range of archival material from the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s including newsreel clips, television news footage, U.S. government-produced films (including military training films), advertisements, television and radio programs. News footage reflected the prevailing understanding of the media and public.
Though the topic of atomic holocaust is a grave matter, The Atomic Cafe approaches it with black humor. Much of the humor derives from the modern audience’s reaction to the old training films, such as the Duck and Cover film shown in schools.
The Atomic Cafe was released at the height of nostalgia and cynicism in America. By 1982, Americans lost much of their faith in their government following the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and the seemingly never-ending arms race with the Soviet Union. The Atomic Cafe reflects and reinforces this idea as it exposes how the atomic bomb’s dangers were downplayed and how the government used films to shape public opinion.
Bob Mielke, in “Rhetoric and Ideology in the Nuclear Test Documentary” (Film Quarterly) discusses the release of The Atomic Cafe: “This satire feature was released at the height of the nuclear freeze movement (which was in turn responding to the Reagan administration’s surreal handling of the arms race.)”
Patricia Aufderheide, in Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction touches on the significance of The Atomic Cafe as a window into the past of government propaganda and disinformation during the years following the advent of the Atomic Bomb. “Propaganda, also known as disinformation, public diplomacy, and strategic communication, continues to be an important tool for governments. But stand-alone documentary is no longer an important part of public relations campaigns aimed at the general public.” (wiki)
Because the site bears direct tangible evidence of the nuclear tests conducted there amid the paradoxical tropical location, UNESCO determined that the atoll symbolizes the dawn of the nuclear age and named it a World Heritage Site on 3 August 2010.
Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence … conveying the power of … nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise.
Pandora’s Promise is a 2013 documentary film about the nuclear power debate, directed by Robert Stone. Its central argument is that nuclear power, which still faces historical opposition from environmentalists, is a relatively safe and clean energy source which can help mitigate the serious problem of anthropogenic global warming. Richard Branson is credited as an executive producer, as are Paul and Jody Allen, whose production company, Vulcan Productions, helped provide financial support. A total of $1.2 million (US) was raised to finance the film, “particularly through Impact Partners, which provides documentary financing from individual investors. Mr. Stone said the money came mainly from wealthy “tech heads” who have worked in Silicon Valley.”
The New York Times: “You need to make an argument. A parade of like-minded nuclear-power advocates who assure us that everything will be all right just doesn’t cut it.” > Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “In the end, by dismissing the protesters and failing to engage them in significant debate about the pros and cons of nuclear energy, the film undermined its own message.” > Seattle Weekly: “But the doc’s bigger flaw is that no one is allowed to make a reasoned anti-nuclear argument. To the well-made film’s many statistics, graphics, and common-sense assertions, the lack of a rebuttal is deafening.”
“A four-year long journey in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and twofold tragedy that befell Japan in the March 2011, directed by Matteo Gagliardi, written by Christine Reinhold, Matteo Gagliardi e Pio d’Emilia. (…) “Fukushima: A Nuclear Story” offers a completely original point of view on the tragedy, narrated by the actor Willem Dafoe in the English version.
Christine Reinhold and Matteo Gagliardi combine different elements in the film: The story of a journalist, Pio d’Emilia, who refused to abandon his job even when the nuclear danger was at its greatest; the doubts and fears of man in the days following the threefold tragedy; the search for the truth regarding what really happened inside the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The former prime minister Naoto Kan, in a previously unreleased interview, will reveal how Tokyo, and probably the whole of Japan, avoided a much bigger tragedy thanks to sheer luck.
The director describes the tragic events using Manga Drawings, to make them more comprehensible to our perception (…)” – vimeo
Chernobyl is a historical drama television miniseries created and written by Craig Mazin and directed by Johan Renck (Stakka Bo). The series a co-production of HBO and Sky UK depicting the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 1986 and the unprecedented cleanup efforts that followed. It features an ensemble cast led by Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, and Paul Ritter. The miniseries is based in large part on the recollections of Pripyat locals, as told by Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich in her book Voices from Chernobyl. (wiki)