Friday, August 26, 2011
8/27: Award-Winning 'Atomic Mom' Documentary at White Sands Film Festival in Las Cruces
Atomic Mom, an award-winning feature length documentary from M.T. Silvia, will screen on Saturday, August 27th, at 4:00 PM at the Allen Theatres Cineport 10 at 500 South Telshor Blvd. in Las Cruces, NM in the White Sands International Film Festival.
Atomic Mom weaves an intimate portrait of a complex mother-daughter relationship within an obscure -– but important –- moment in American history. As the only female scientist present during atomic detonations in the Nevada desert, Pauline Silvia, the filmmaker’s mother, undergoes a crisis of conscience. After a long silence and prompted by her daughter, she finally reveals grim secrets of working in the U.S. atomic testing program.
In our present moment of Wikileaks, Pauline is a similar whistle-blower having been cowed by the silencing machine of the US military for decades. In an attempt to reconcile with her own mother’s past, her daughter, filmmaker M.T. Silvia, meets Emiko Okada, a Hiroshima survivor trying to reconcile her own history in Japan. The film follows these survivors, each on a different end of atomic warfare, as they “meet” through the filmmaking process, and as they, with startling honestly, attempt to understand the other.
With the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the footage of the devastation is hauntingly familiar to the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As Japan experiences its second nuclear crisis, Atomic Mom illustrates how we are all downwind of this story.
Atomic Mom invites viewers to confront American nuclear history in a completely new way and will inspire dialogue about human rights, personal responsibility, and the possibility -– and hope -– of peace.
M.T. Silvia is an independent filmmaker. Her first documentary Picardy Drive (2002, Documentary, 57min) aired on KQED’s ImageMaker series, FreeSpeechTV and airs yearly during the holidays on Oakland’s KTOP. She has worked professionally in the film industry for over twenty years at both Skywalker Sound and Pixar Animation Studios. Among many mainstream film and CD credits, she has also worked on several independent films.