Sunday, April 24, 2016

Last Day TFF2016: On a Frightening Acid Trip Down Memory Lane With ‘the bomb’

In "the bomb," footage of parts of Japan after the atomic bomb was dropped. Photos by V.W.


help us all if any of the club members have a meltdown moment. We’d all be ... melted down or suffer some similar, awful fate.

Here to remind us of this outcome is “the bomb.” The closing film of the "15th annual Tribeca Film Festival" continues its world premiere run tonight with showings at 7 and 10. From Kevin Ford, Smriti Keshari and Eric Schlosser, “the bomb” addresses the nuclear threat.

The Nuclear Club, the so-called name for the countries that admit to or are known to have nuclear weapons, is a motley crew: China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, United Kingdom and, of course, the United States. Do note that these are the countries that have come clean about their nuclear possessions.

Anyone with the remotest knowledge of geopolitics is aware that there exists a massive amount of tension among members of the club, heightening the relevance of “the bomb.”

It is a multimedia work by virtue of being projected on a series of large screens that surround the main show space at Gotham Hall. In the center, playing live, is the band, The Acid. It can be inferred from the 360-degree view of the film that it's a metaphor for the reality that the nuclear threat surrounds us.

Like a typical documentary, “the bomb” uses archival footage to take the viewer back and forth in time to various points of development of nuclear weaponry.

Disturbing business all around such as footage of animals being carted and taken away to be guinea pigs for scientists to test the effects of nuclear energy on living beings that will have similar reactions to humans .

The busy work of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s The Manhattan Project, the piece of nastiness that started the nuclear arms race and crushed a society, is cited. Back then, it all seemed so simple and innocent. Today, it is obvious that it spawned menaces to society.

Scene of the aftermath of a bomb attack in "the bomb."

In truly satirical moments, “the bomb” uses clips from propaganda films of the 40s designed to allay the fears that a wary, but trusting U. S public had about radiation poisoning. Of course, the effects of the atomic bomb on Japanese citizens would give lie to those assurances.

As comic as it is alarming is the PSA instructing children to duck and hide in the event of a bomb attack. Downright sinister is the Lockheed Martin manifesto.

Fast forward to today and “the bomb” shines the spotlight on certain members of the Nuclear Club saber-rattling under the guise of the harmless testing of their nuclear weapons. Or bragging about their capabilities.

“the bomb,” occasionally obtuse and too enamored with mushroom clouds, does not offer solutions. Rather, it seems to illustrate the problem ,and in doing so, exhorts us to remember the lessons of the past. To not forget what was wrought when The Bomb was dropped.

It quietly beseeches us to undertake the necessary course to avoid another catastrophe, one that will likely take us all out next time.

We’d do well to heed this counsel.

Other films/events on today's TFF2016 schedule: “Win,” “Children of the Mountain,” “Do Not Resist,” “Keepers of the Game,” “The Tenth Man,” “Here Alone,” “Adult Life Skills,” “Junction 48,” “Midsummer in Newtown,” “Untouchable,” “Dean,” “The Fixer,” “Kicks,” “Little Boxes,” “Women Who Kill,” “Madly,” “Check It,” “Between Us,” “Fear, Inc.,” “The Ride,” “Prison Dogs,” “Life, Animated,” “Almost Paris,” “Strike a Pose,” “SHORTS: New York Now, “Nerdland,” “Custody,” “Geezer,” “Mr. Church,” “King Cobra

Visit to learn more about it and the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, including tickets and schedule.

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