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As global tensions rise, the unthinkable now seems possible. The threat of nuclear weapons of mass destruction has become frighteningly real. WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN: THE DESTRUCTION OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI, by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, looks at the reality of nuclear warfare with first-hand accounts from those who survived and whose lives were forever changed by the atomic bomb.

Even after 60 years, those bombings continue to inspire argument, denial and myth. Surprisingly, most people know nothing or very little about what happened on August 6 and 9, 1945, two days that changed the world. This is a comprehensive, straightforward, moving account of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the point of view of the people who were there.

Featuring interviews with fourteen atomic bomb survivors, many of whom have never spoken publicly before, and four Americans intimately involved in the bombings, WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN provides a detailed exploration of the bombings and their aftermath. In a succession of riveting personal accounts, the film reveals both unimaginable suffering and extraordinary human resilience. Survivors (85% of victims were civilians) not vaporized during the attacks (140,000 died in Hiroshima, 70,000 in Nagasaki) continued to suffer from burns, infection, radiation sickness and cancer (another 160,000 deaths). As Sakue Shimohira, ten years old at the time, says of the moment she considered killing herself after losing the last member of her family: I realized there are two kinds of courage the courage to die and the courage to live.

Other survivors include: Kiyoko Imori, just blocks from the hypocenter, she is the only survivor of an elementary school of 620 students. Keiji Nakazawa, who lost his father, brother and two sisters, then devoted his life to re-telling his story in comic books and animation. Shuntaro Hida, a young military doctor at the time, began treating survivors immediately after the explosion and, 60 years later, continues to provide care for them. Etsuko Nagano still cant forgive herself for convincing her family to come to Nagasaki, just weeks before the bombing. With a calm frankness that makes their stories unforgettable, the survivors bear witness to the unfathomable destructive power of nuclear weapons. Their accounts are illustrated with survivor paintings and drawings, historical footage and photographs, including rare or never before seen material.

Steven Okazaki met more than 500 survivors and interviewed more than 100 before choosing the 14 people in the film. He says, Their stories are amazing, shocking, and inspiring.

WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN, an HBO Documentary Film, details the human costs of atomic warfare and stands as a powerful warning that with enough present-day nuclear weapons worldwide to equal 400,000 Hiroshimas, we cannot afford to forget what happened on those two days in 1945.

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