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TheDay after Trinity

TheDay after Trinity is a 1980 documentary that was directed by Jon H.Else, and was very successful after being nominated for severalawards. The protagonist is a theoretical scientist, J. RobertOppenheimer, who along with other scientists pioneered theconstruction of the first nuclear bomb that was tested in Mexico atTrinity in 1945. Several of the actual scientists who took part inthe Manhattan project that developed the atomic bomb used in bombingNagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945 are interviewed. More so, some of thevictims of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings are also interviewed,thereby making it a historical documentary. The documentary revealsabout the odd behavior of the characters, both the protagonists andthe antagonists through not only cinematography, but also throughsociological features. The main theme of the movie is to display thedevelopment of the nuclear bombs, its controversy through politics,and the ethical issues surrounding the development. This essayevaluates the scientists’ opinion after the day if Trinity, whytheir opinion was ignored, and an evaluation of the classroom factsbased on those presented on the movie.

Afterthe day of trinity, most scientists felt that the nuclear warfareshould end because of the destruction that it had at Trinity. Trinityis represents Nagasaki and Hiroshima in the documentary that werebombed during the World War I. The odd behavior of the scientists whoworked at Los Alamos during the interview reveals their guilt andremorsefulness for testing the nuclear bomb at Trinity. RobertOppenheimer, the leading scientist at Los Alamos, acts very strangelywhen he is being interviewed as he explains how he the impacts of thenuclear bomb testing at Trinity with reference to the attacks atNagasaki and Hiroshima. He explains his angle of elevation and heightused to hit the target. Rather than using footages of old buildings,he shows footage of a schoolhouse that was hit by the bombs. That isa sensitive matter, because it reveals that the bombs attacked andkilled innocent school going children, raising the ethical concernsabout the use of the bombs on innocent civilians (Canby). Hisbrother, Frank Oppenheimer covers his eyes as he grabs his foreheadas he is being interviewed, that display his guilt and unwilling togive details about the damage caused at Trinity. There is theManhattan project physicist, Robert Wilson, revealing with amusementthat Germany had surrendered, while his wife, Jane Wilson, is verysick with the outcome of Trinity test bombing. Robert Wilson was nothappy that Germany had conceded defeat, but he was celebrating thefact that there could be no more casualties by use of nuclearweapons. This is an indication that most of the scientists at LosAlamos highly regretted the fruits of their action and wished theyhad not developed the weapon because it caused global security risk(Renov 121).

Despitethe scientists wish to stop the construction of nuclear and hydrogenbombs, the government did not stop their construction. RobertOppenheimer remained in the Atomic Energy Commission even after theWorld War I. However efforts to urge the government not to developthe hydrogen bomb failed. Those efforts resulted to a revocation ofhis security personnel followed by a sacking from the Atomic EnergyCommission. During an interview, proposing to President Johnson theessence of nuclear disbarment, he claims that even if it is “20years the day after Trinity” (Else), it is not too late because thedisbarment should have been done on the after the trinity. TheManhattan Project is a government project where billions have beeninvested, and best brains employed to develop nuclear weapons. Thedecision to destroy Trinity began from the first day the thousands ofworkers began their operations on the Manhattan Project. Therefore,the government could not consider the decision to retaliate.

Basedon the classroom facts about nuclear weapons to a certain extent, Iagree with scientists that United States should cease the developmentof nuclear weapons. This is based on the adverse effects on theecosystem. The nuclear weapons are very destructive based on theresults evidenced at Trinity where innocent civilians were killed,and infrastructure destroyed to a large extent. The challenge facingthe United States disbarment process is that there are other nationsthat have these weapons and not ready to do away with them.Therefore, the United States disarming itself could pose a risk toits people and infrastructure. Disarmament should be considered atglobal level where all nations should agree and get rid of weaponsbecause they pose a security risk for all humanity.

Thismust watch documentary displays the history of the nuclear war andthe effect on both the victims and the developers after the testingat Trinity in Mexico. The attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was thefirst nuclear test and the beginning of the nuclear age. Theconsequences were beyond the expectation of those who took part indeveloping the bomb. Through the essay one understands the reasonswhy scientists demanded stopping of the use of nuclear weapons, whythe government rejected proposals by scientists and the reasonsbehind the decision, even though nuclear weapons pose a threat to thesurvival of humanity.


Canby,Vincent. TheDay After Trinity Oppenheimer the Atomic Bomb (1980) Oppenheimer andthe First A-Bomb.New York Times. January 20, 1981. Web. 20 March 2014.

Renov,Michael.&nbspTheSubject of Documentary.Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2004. Print.

TheDay After Trinity.Dir. Jon H. Else. KTEH public television in San Jose, California.1981. Film.