Atomic Cover-up (Short)


Duration: 00:29:16
Country: United States

Director: Greg Mitchell
Producer: Suzanne Mitchell
Writers: Greg Mitchell

“Atomic Cover-up” is the first documentary to explore the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 from the unique perspective, words, and startling images of the brave cameramen and directors who risked their lives filming in the irradiated aftermath.

It reveals how this historic footage, created by a Japanese newsreel crew and then an elite U.S. Army team (who shot the only color reels), was seized, classified top secret, and then buried by American officials for decades to hide the full human costs of the bombings as a costly nuclear arms race raged. All the while, the producers of the footage made heroic efforts to find and expose their shocking film, to reveal truths of the atomic bombings that might halt nuclear proliferation. “Atomic Cover-up” represents, at least in part, the film they were not allowed to make, as well as a tribute to documentarians everywhere.

It is based entirely on the first-hand accounts of key members of the film crews (from the man who shot an early Akira Kurosawa movie to a pioneering American TV director) and the first vivid 4K transfers of their footage–much of it appearing in a U.S. documentary for the first time–as well as long-hidden official records which document the suppression. These rich, vital materials are carefully assembled for haunting effect and maximum relevance for today as nuclear dangers reach peak intensity and official “cover-ups” expand. Charlie Seaborn contributed an original score and Alex Gibney and Alex Winter served as chief advisers. (29:42 U.S. 2021)

“They told me, hell no and damn no–they didn’t want those images shown to the public at a time when they were planning to build bigger bombs.”

–Lt. Daniel McGovern, leader of the American film team, to “Atomic Cover-up” director Greg Mitchell