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Review - Two Films on Hiroshima

            One may think there is always only one truth to be told and remembered, but in cases where truth can be used to serve a certain purpose, would what people tell us still be one singular truth? Given the devastating 1945 atomic bomb tragedy in Hiroshima, where the political interests of both parties, Japan and America, were involved, different ways of telling the story have been created. This matter could be examined clearly under the scope of the two films about the tragedy made by the two countries in the years that followed: The Beginning or the End (1947) by American and Children of Hiroshima (1952) by Japanese. With certain stark differences, the two films subtly underlie how America and Japan's perceptions of the incident diverge.
             Firstly, The Beginning or the End and Children of Hiroshima chose to focus on different clusters of character with the American film mostly revolves about the upper social class and the Japanese film primarily concentrates on the lower social one. This difference implies the two countries' opposing perceptions of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb tragedy. In The Beginning or the End, politicians, governors, army officers are those who mainly drive the story while ordinary citizens barely stage the play. In details, the film shows us scenes from politicians discussing their plans with the bomb to soldiers transporting the bomb to Japan and dropping it on Hiroshima. Throughout all the incidents, there was little performance by anyone who does not possess authority or power, which brings us an impression that the whole process of assembling the bomb and put it to use in the World War was an authority-affirmed and carefully planned action. On the other hand, Children of Hiroshima's story is driven by an ordinary kindergarten teacher, named Takako, through a trip back to her home town which sheds light on the distressing aftermath of the atomic bomb. For instance, a person dies because of radiation; a woman has been rendered sterile; people struggle to make ends meet due to property loss.

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