Atomic Cover-Up Premieres to Rave Reviews

It went “virtually” very well, when the documentary that I wrote and directed, Atomic Cover-up, received its world premiere Saturday at Cinequest. Like nearly all major film festivals in the past year, this one has skipped the theaters and gone fully online, allowing viewers across the country to take part over the next week (tickets at festival site here). If you want to reach me directly and request a private “free and instant” link or interview, write to: Here are a few “reviews” from those who have seen the film and then a summary, and many more responses.

“What a great film, and original concept. An absolutely crucial way to understanding all wars. Don’t be surprised if this documentary is a player at next year’s Oscars.” – Rod Lurie (director of The Outpost, The Contender, others)

“Very powerful. Incredible unseen footage restored and the tale of the filmmakers who photographed the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” – Alex Gibney, Academy Award-winning director of Enron, Taxi to the Dark Side, Going Clear and many others.

“I admire it – excellent work on an essential topic.” – David Sterritt, longtime Christian Science Monitor critic, author, and editor of Quarterly Review of Film & Video

“So moving, disturbing and important.” – actor/director Alex Winter (The Panama Papers, Show Biz Kids and other films).

“This documentary was literally four decades in the making. Check it out!” – David Corn, Mother Jones, author of several bestselling books

“After writing three books on the topic, Mitchell finally obtained the film footage that America’s leaders didn’t want you to see. As a timely reminder that we hold the power to undo the stain of modern warfare, it demands to be seen.” – Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer

“The understatement of the film’s style lets the horror of the long-suppressed images do all the work. It is stunningly powerful.” – Harry Shearer, actor, “Le Show” host

If this interests you, go to the film’s page at the festival which includes background, the trailer, and an easy way to purchase tickets ($3.99 and good for any time until the end of the month). Or, as I’ve said, request a private “free and instant” link, via Suzanne Mitchell (no relation) produced the film with me. Here’s a brief note on the film, which runs for 52 minutes, and then more responses, and finally, here’s the trailer.

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 dangerous 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.

“One of 2021’s most important films….A devastating gut punch. It is a film of quiet and devastating power that will bend the knees of even those who think they know everything about the bombings.” – Steve Kopian, Unseen Films

“A powerful and important documentary – extraordinary use of long-suppressed footage from Hiroshima & Nagasaki after the US dropped the Atomic bomb.” – Nina Bernstein, longtime New York Times investigative reporter.

“Best documentary I’ve seen since MLK/FBI. You’ll never forget it.” – Bill Geerhart, founder, CONELRAD

“An important work, one that’s essential education for a generation with less and less familiarity with the horror of nuclear weapons. A major contribution to our collective memory.” – Daniel M. Gold, New York Times film reviewer, 2009–2017.

“You’ve been a real warrior on this issue.” – Oliver Stone

“A very interesting film with a very important message, and the images are really horrifying.” – Patrick Vollrath, Academy Award-nominated director of 7500.

“A compelling new doc.” – Stephen Schwartz, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

“Incredibly powerful and important.” –Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of American Prometheus, biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer

“Chilling.” – Sharon Grimberg, director of McCarthy and producer of dozens of other films for PBS’ American Experience

“Arresting and fascinating – horrifying all over again.” – Nicholson Baker, award-winning author of Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, and other books.

“The film is incredibly good. I was very moved by the story and by its urgency.” – Lyn Goldfarb, director of recent hit Edy’s World and producer of Academy Award-nominated With Babies and Banners

“Must-see.” – Bianca Jagger, human rights activist.

“So powerful” – Gary Krist, author of The Mirage Factory and other bestsellers.

“Great film!” – Anthony Weller, author of First Into Nagasaki about his father whose newspaper reports were censored and disappeared for 60 years.

“Greg Mitchell has been a leading chronicler of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and American behavior toward them. Now he makes use of key interviews and documents to record an extremely important part of atomic bomb history that deserves far more attention today.” – Robert Jay Lifton, author of Death in Life (winner of the National Book Award) and other acclaimed books.

10 thoughts on “Atomic Cover-Up Premieres to Rave Reviews”

  1. Of course there was a cover-up. Nukes don’t work. They firebombed every city in Japan. All the photos show stone buildings standing unharmed and all their bamboo and wood houses burned to the ground. The Fog of War has a good animated graphic on which cities were destroyed and percentage of total city destruction.

    1. Some buildings where left partialy standing , it`s the same with tornados some buildings are left untouched others are wiped out.

      1. Can you understand the basic difference between a tornado and the radius of a “nuclear detonation”? How does a building in a blast radius go “untouched”? The stone buildings are not partially standing. They are fully standing in those photos.

    2. During the early part of the lockdown last year, I read Han Suyin’s autobiographical novel, Destination Chungking, published in 1942. The story she tells of moving deeper inland to keep one step ahead of Japanese invasion shares some terrible tragedies. Surprisingly to me, Suyin and her husband spent time at Hankow, one of the three cities forming the metropolis of Wuhan, narrowly escaping before the advance of Japanese forces.

      Some years back I read Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, about the murder of roughly 25,000 people in Dresden, Germany in mid-February, 1945, by British and U.S. forces.

      More recently I learned that not only had Tokyo been nearly destroyed by firebombing on 10 March 1945, but also Wuhan had been firebombed by the United States on 18 December 1944. One estimate claims 20,000 Chinese civilians were murdered by the napalm that day.

      1. Grave of the Fireflies is an animated Japanese film about the firebombings. It’s pretty moving. It shows what happens on the ground and how they had little water stations in every neighborhood in preparation.

      2. Controversial historian David Irving wrote The Destruction of Dresden in 1963. Maybe Kurt read that one.

        “In the first edition, Irving estimated that the two Royal Air Force raids and the first U.S. Army Air Force raid combined were “estimated authoritatively to have killed more than 135,000 of the population [of Dresden]…”and the “documentation suggests very strongly that the figure was certainly between a minimum of 100,000 and a maximum of 250,000″. In 1965, General Ira C. Eaker identified the number as 135,000.”

        1. Thank you for all of his additional information. I was not very certain about the fatality figures from a quick search. However, even one person murdered is too many.

  2. Anyone who knows anything about the atomic bomb war crimes of America on the Japanese civilian population knows there was a cover up from day one , japan was a no go area for years as US scientists documented the affects of the H/B attack and did very little to help the suvivors , they took thousands of photos , miles of film which was never to be seen by anyone especially US Citizens who would have been appalled at what they would see and probably demanded an end to Nuclear weaopns .

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