Deconstructing Oppenheimer Film: You Haven’t Gone This Deep

Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer film celebrates the US bombmaker as a great nuclear scientist. But what was the man's real contribution apart from heading the dirty terrorism mission called 'Manhattan Project'?

Oppenheimer film: The bombmaker’s real identity

Nadim Siraj

August 16, 2023: Everybody has been talking about Robert Oppenheimer and the much-advertised biopic on him this late summer. Some are saying the film is a masterpiece. Some are saying it’s not a big deal, it’s just another Hollywood movie. Here in Bharat, many people are angry with the film’s producers. They say the film insulted religious sensitivities and Indian culture. But no one is talking about the most important perspective about Oppenheimer. What is this untold perspective?

There’s been a huge hype about Oppenheimer since his biopic was released by Hollywood. It’s a typical American film, heavily funded, melodramatic acting, and very well marketed. Like other American products. The film tells the story of the Manhattan Project through the eyes of American scientist Oppenheimer.

Why is the Oppenheimer film and the Manhattan Project important for the US? He was the director of the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. It was the centre of the Manhattan Project during the 1940s. Under Oppenheimer’s watch, American, British, and Canadian scientists built the world’s first nuclear bomb. And under Oppenheimer’s watch, the first ever nuclear test was carried out in the US. It was called the Trinity Test.

Oppenheimer film: Biopic or propaganda?

The reality is that the Oppenheimer film is nothing but a Hollywood PR project. It tries to market American heroism. It tells audiences that making the first nuclear bomb was a brave mission that only the Americans could do. That is what the hype is all about. American muscle power. Who built the first atom bomb? We did it, thanks to Mr. Oppenheimer, our great scientist. And they chose popular director Christopher Nolan to make the product exciting to watch.

To use Pentagon critic Noam Chomsky’s words, the Oppenheimer film is a classic case of manufacturing consent. It is fake PR created by the US government and the US defence establishment using Hollywood. You see, people all over the world love Hollywood. So, Hollywood is the most persuasive way to tell people that Oppenheimer should be celebrated.

Let’s truthfully look at Oppenheimer’s real contribution. What was the Manhattan Project actually for? The truth is, it was nothing but a terrorism project. No, it’s not a surprising statement. The project used $25 billion in today’s currency value. And it employed 1,30,000 people. For what? To create killer atomic bombs. Bombs that are dangerous for the entire human species. Bombs that wiped out the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And Oppenheimer was the captain of that terrorism project.

Manhattan Project and Hiroshima

Once the Manhattan Project was ready with its first atomic bomb, it conducted the Trinity Test on 16th July, 1945 in a desert in New Mexico. It was the first ever nuclear test. Three weeks later, on 6th August, 1945, the US military carried out the biggest terror attack in human history. It dropped a uranium bomb on Hiroshima and decimated the Japanese city. Three days later, the US dropped a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki.

The two nuclear blasts wiped out at least 2,30,000 people in the two cities. Watch US president Harry Truman’s arrogance and joyfulness when he was announcing the Hiroshima terror attack. He was grinning, laughing, and proud. Watch it:

This is the actual legacy of Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. When Osama bin Laden captained the 9-11 attacks in the US, we all called him a terrorist. And we were right in doing so. Shouldn’t Oppenheimer be called a terrorist, too? Isn’t the Manhattan Project the same as Al-Qaeda? Isn’t Harry Truman guilty of approving the world’s biggest terror attacks in terms of number of casualties?

Why didn’t Oppenheimer resign?

As a high-profile scientist, Oppenheimer helped America build a killer weapon that can annihilate the human race. It doesn’t matter that later on in life, he campaigned against a nuclear arms race, and was sacked by the US government from atomic projects. The misdeed was done by then. If Oppenheimer really feared a nuclear arms race, he should have resigned from the Manhattan Project before the deadly bombs were created.

Let American, British, and Canadian movie-goers celebrate his biopic. But should the Japanese, should the Indians, and should the rest of the world celebrate a positive film on his life? Forget the hype surrounding the movie. In May this year, Japan happily hosted a G7 summit at Hiroshima. Showing no sense of self-respect, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida was all smiles as he welcomed Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, and Justin Trudeau. Kishida forgot that Biden, Sunak, and Trudeau represent the three countries that carried out the terror attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Oppenheimer film and American heroism

Coming back to Oppenheimer, to celebrate this film is to insult the lakhs of innocent people who were burnt to death by the nuclear blasts. If your friends tell you they loved the film and it’s a must-watch, tell them they paid and watched a two-hour-long advertisement of American heroism. We are not advising you to boycott the film. Rather, if you happen to watch it, closely notice the tone and style of US propaganda.

Notice how Hollywood smartly tries to project a terrorist operation as a scientific marvel. In fact, it’s historically been the case with many Hollywood films. Take the American war movies, for example. Saving Private Ryan, Thin Red Line, Platoon, Hurt Locker, Bridge on the River Kwai, All Quiet on the Western Front. It’s a long list of strategically made propaganda films meant to make people love the US war machine.

Oppenheimer is not a name to celebrate. It is a name that should always remind us of death, destruction, and terrorism.

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