‘Oppenheimer’ finally premieres in Japan — with trigger warnings

Oppenheimer premieres in Japan
Oppenheimer premieres in Japan
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The Academy Award Best Picture winner “Oppenheimer” finally premiered in Japan on Friday with trigger warnings after an eight-month controversy over how it would be perceived there.

Signs were posted at the entrances to some theaters in Tokyo, warning that the Christopher Nolan film, which was released globally in July, contained images of nuclear tests.

The movie tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer — played by Cillian Murphy, who won the Oscar for his portrayal — the physicist behind the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing more than 200,000 and ending World War II.

“Oppenheimer” premiered in Japan, eight months after its release, following controversy surrounding the movie there. AP
“Oppenheimer” premiered in Japan, eight months after its release, following controversy surrounding the movie there. AP
The movie premiered with trigger warnings after an eight-month controversy over how it would be perceived in Japan. REUTERS
The movie premiered with trigger warnings after an eight-month controversy over how it would be perceived in Japan. REUTERS
Japan was the only country to suffer atomic bombing at the end of World War II in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000. AP
Japan was the only country to suffer atomic bombing at the end of World War II in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000. AP

“Of course this is an amazing film which deserves to win the Academy Awards. But the film also depicts the atomic bomb in a way that seems to praise it, and, as a person with roots in Hiroshima, I found it difficult to watch,” said Hiroshima resident Kawai, 37.

Some in Japan also took offense to the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon — that associated “Oppenheimer” with the comedy “Barbie” since both opened on the same day this summer — saying it trivialized what they endured from the bombs.

Universal Pictures, “Oppenheimer’s” distributor, did not include Japan in its global release schedule, but the movie was later picked up by the Japanese independent film distributor Bitters End and was given a post-Oscars release date.