Some of the footage used in this documentary is from another documentary, "Tsar Bomba." This footage deals with a 60,000 pound device that is called in this film the Soviet's "monster bomb." When it was tested, it created the largest explosion ever created by man. See more »
Dedicated to the Air Force 1352nd Motion Picture Squadron Lookout Mountain Laboratory (The Atomic Cinematographers) See more »
This is definitely a film worth watching, although it's "objectivity" suffers from some rather serious omissions.
"Trinity and Beyond" offers a decent summary of the history of human flirtation with the power of nuclear weapons. One comes away from the film with two main impressions: 1) (for older viewers) a renewed gratitude that we never witnessed a full-scale nuclear war, and 2) amazement at the utterly childlike and naive way in which governments developed and tested nuclear weapons, with almost no responsible consideration of potential consequences for human beings. Everything was done for the sake of protecting and preserving abstract institutions--nations, governments and the like--with no meaningful concern for the human beings who comprise those institutions.
However, if "Trinity and Beyond" was intended to make us really think about the consequences of flirting with the atom, it failed on several counts:
1) The real devastation wrought by the United States upon human beings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was never shown. Not even one image of a silhouette on a Japanese building caused by an incinerated human was shown. There were no images of Japanese zombies walking through the rubble in shock with their flesh blown clear off their bodies. No images of children with their eyeballs hanging out of their sockets. Almost all of the film footage is presented from a safe, sterile distance, much like bomber pilots must witness while delivering so much death. This incomprehensible omission alone constitutes a default endorsement of nuclear weapons development and testing, and challenges any claim that "Trinity and Beyond" is an objective film.
2) There is no meaningful mention of the US government's use of American citizens as virtual guinea pigs, as far as the effects of radiation are concerned. Apart from mentioning that a small boat had once entered a testing area during a test, no mention was made of the blatant disregard governments showed for their own soldiers and citizens while studying the effects of nuclear blasts and subsequent fallout.
3) Much is made of footage of nuclear explosions in space without a single mention of what could have happened if a rocket had accidentally gone off-course into a populated area instead. Even stunning footage of a rocket exploding on the launch pad fails to mention whether or not a nuclear weapon was on board that rocket.
Furthermore, the ending was visually terrifying, yet without narrative explanation it fails to make any specific point. It does, however, tend to demonize a certain country, which again challenges all claims to objectivity.
Overall, "Trinity and Beyond" offers a striking visual experience, especially for people who experienced life during the Cold War. Unfortunately, this film is one of the least-thought provoking documentaries I have ever seen, and that is a crying shame given the extraordinarily serious subject under consideration.
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