John Smitherman

John Smitherman

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Radio Bikini Review


Good
This short documentary features the original footage from the A-bomb tests on Bikini Atoll, plus a little more. Commentary from a native chief, shot before he was forced to move his tribe off the island, isn't very surprising, but an interview with one of the Navy witnesses is devastating. Now missing both his legs, he tells a story about how, after the blast, his limbs swelled up one by one, only to have them amputated. Now his left arm is swollen to impossible proportions. As raw footage, it's powerful, but the bits and pieces of Robert Stone's documentary don't hang well together as a film, and piecing together a narrative is ultimately a fruitless exercise.
John Smitherman

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