“Oppenheimer” has finally been released in Japan

“Oppenheimer” has finally been released in Japan


A frame from the movie “Oppenheimer”

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On Friday, March 29, the Oscar-winning biographical drama was released in Japan “Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan. This happened eight months after the film was released worldwide.

In a country whose two cities were destroyed 79 years ago by nuclear weapons invented by the American scientist Robert Oppenheimer, due to the sensitivity of the topic, they were in no hurry to release, writes Associated Press.

The tape was released in the world in July 2023. And in December, the Japanese distributor announced that it will be released in the country “after months of thoughtful dialogue because of the particular sensitivity of the subject to the Japanese“.

The former mayor of Hiroshima at the pre-premiere screening of the film Takashi Hiraoka criticized the angle from which Nolan showed the story. “From Hiroshima’s point of view, the horror of nuclear weapons was not adequately depicted. The film was made to support the conclusion that the atomic bomb was used to save American lives“, his words are quoted by the Japanese mass media.

However, Japanese viewers have radically different opinions about the tape on such a sensitive topic for this region. Toshiyuki Mimakiwho survived the bombing of Hiroshima at the age of 3 and now heads the Japanese Confederation of Atomic and Water Bomb Victims, said he was fascinated by the story “father of the atomic bomb”.

What were the Japanese thinking when they attacked Pearl Harbor, starting a war they could not hope to win“, said Mimaki after watching Oppenheimer.

Sofia University professor specializing in US politics, Kazuhiro Maeshima noted that a Hollywood blockbuster with the story of Oppenheimer would have been impossible to imagine a few decades ago, when the creation of nuclear weapons was justified in the American mood. “This work shows an America that has radically changed“, – he said.

Some in Japan are already thinking about a film answer to Nolan’s work. Among them is the director of this year’s Oscar winner, the film “Godzilla Minus One”, Takashi Yamazaki. “I feel that Japan should respond to Oppenheimer. I would like to make this movie someday“, he said.

About “Oppenheimer”

The film “Oppenheimer” was directed by Christopher Nolan (“Inception”, “Interstellar”, “Dunkirk”) based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of theoretical physicist, professor of the University of California at Berkeley Robert Oppenheimer “American Prometheus”.

The tape tells the story of a scientist who, during the Second World War, headed the American secret program for the creation of nuclear weapons – the “Manhattan Project”.

The main roles in the biopic were played by Cillian Murphy (Robert Oppenheimer), Emily Blunt (Kitty Oppenheimer), Matt Damon (General Leslie Groves), Robert Downey Jr. (Lewis Strauss), Florence Pugh (Gene Tetlock) and other famous actors.

The film was released on the big screens in July 2023 and since then has earned $958 million at the global box office. The film brought its creator Nolan a little more than $100 million in royalties.

“Oppenheimer” was released together with another large-scale project – the comedy drama “Barbie” directed by Greta Gerwig. Because of this, the “Barbenheimer” meme arose. And after some time the company Warner Bros. Japan had to publicly apologize due to criticism from the Japanese audience of inappropriate activity around this meme.

In March 2024, “Oppenheimer” became the winner of the 96th Academy Awards ceremony – in total, it received seven awards. Among them, the main award of the evening is in the Best Film category.


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