The below letter was sent on 28th March, and is being made public now – 16th July – following no response from Nolan or his studies, in an effort to raise awareness of the concerns expressed by signatories.
Christopher Nolan CBE
United States of America
28th March 2023
Dear Mr. Christopher Nolan CBE,
CC: Ms. Emma Thomas, Syncopy Inc., Mr. Charles Roven, Atlas Entertainment
RE: Epilogue text to Oppenheimer (2023)
We are writing to you as a group of survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, survivors of nuclear weapons tests, and as young people concerned about the threat of nuclear weapons use and production.
As people around the world eagerly anticipate the release of Oppenheimer, we are today closer to nuclear weapons conflict than at any point since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
We recognize that for millions worldwide, your movie will be the most influential telling of the development of nuclear weapons, likely directly shaping their understanding of, and generating further interest in, nuclear weapons. We also recognize that, knowing this, you will have taken great care in your storytelling to effectively convey the existential threat these weapons present as well as the harms they continue to cause.
With this in mind, we kindly request that you include epilogue text (or similar messaging) following the film that underscores the contemporary threat to humanity posed by these weapons as well as the current global efforts to safely disarm and eliminate them. Crucially, this would involve recognizing that nuclear weapons are now illegal under international law thanks to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
The TPNW is supported by the majority of UN member states with over 91 countries as signatories, and has been endorsed by thousands of academics, civil society groups, diplomats, former heads of state, international relations’ experts and activists worldwide.
As the first international treaty to ban the possession and use of nuclear weapons, the TPNW represents the best chance humanity has of securing a world without nuclear weapons. States parties to the Treaty are also bound by positive obligations, such as restorative justice
for affected communities and remediation for impacted lands; such obligations have already taken effect.
Recognising this in an epilogue would ensure that your film stands with all people who never wish to see such destruction again, would provide a positive step to preventing future use, and would be widely applauded for doing so. We stand ready to support you and your studio by writing or reviewing the wording of any such text.
As hibakusha – survivors of the atomic bombings – we know firsthand the horror of these weapons and have been calling for abolition for decades.
As survivors of atomic weapons testing, we are still demanding justice for the damage governments worldwide have inflicted upon our bodies, our lives and our families.
As young people, we understand how the current nuclear weapons order in which we live converges with the global climate crisis that threatens current and future generations, particularly marginalized communities.
With this film, we feel strongly that you have an opportunity to drive global dialogue regarding nuclear weapons in a manner that respects survivors and affected community members and that educates the general public about current real-world solutions to end the nuclear threat. We are ready to support and applaud this positive contribution to global security and global cinema.
Setsuko Thurlow, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 2017, Hiroshima Survivor
Mr Tanaka Terumi, Co-Chair, Nihon Hidankyo, Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, Nagasaki Survivor
Mr Kido Sueichi, Secretary General, Nihon Hidankyo, Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, Nagasaki Survivor
Eric Barton, Operation Dominic Test Survivor and Veteran and International Director of The Legacy of the Atomic Bomb Atomic Test Survivors (LABRATS), United Kingdom
Douglas Hern, Operation Grapple Test Survivor and Veteran, United Kingdom
Mere Tuilau, Youth for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Fiji and the Pacific Islands
Remy Zahiga, Youth for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Democratic Republic of Congo
Sue Coleman-Haseldine, Kokatha woman and Ambassador of ICAN Australia, British nuclear weapons testing Survivor
Pam Kingfisher, Co-Coordinator of the Nuclear Truth Project, Hanford Downwinder, United States
Bedi Racule, MISA4thePacific, Fiji and the Marshall Islands
Mari Inoue, Co-Founder of the Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
For international media please contact:
ICAN’s Head of Media: Alistair Burnett firstname.lastname@example.org +41 78 238 7179
For interest in youth perspectives or if you UK-focused media, please contact: Youth for TPNW’s Media Lead: Jake Atkinson email@example.com +44 7547 866482