“Oppenheimer” shouldn’t exist.

So here is the reason that I am an incredible killjoy about Oppenheimer and think it should never have been made, no matter how good the movie is, and that everyone involved is kinda total bullshit.

My stance is that there is zero reason to humanize the few people behind producing and benefiting from the bomb. In fact, it perpetuates white American attitudes about noble sacrifice, makes one of the greatest crimes against humanity ever committed sexy with sexy actors and sexy cinematography, and generally gives ample room for reinforcing the lies of imperialism among a populace with low literacy for even identifying that kind of propaganda.

I believe there is no artistry good enough to make up for centering people like Oppenheimer instead of the communities actually impacted.

Congolese miners were exploited to get the uranium to build the atom bomb.

New Mexico Hispanics were bodily removed from their lands to make a testing site for the atom bomb.

More than 200,000 innocent Japanese were killed when the atom bombs were dropped. Cancers and related illnesses have continued en masse in the decades since.

Cutesy bomb advertising became common, particularly in conjunction with Barbie. You cannot have a movie of this scale and budget without marketing that is wholly inappropriate for the crimes committed.

The movie and its creators had zero interest in engaging with the above, or seeking ways to remedy the crimes committed against those communities. They considered themselves to have no real responsibility to make real gestures of healing toward the communities, but without that responsibility, I argue they then have no right to any story surrounding it.

I am aware the story “grapples with the ethics” in its centralized white imperialist characters, but they frankly just aren’t members of the impacted community. Whatever they felt about the crimes they committed doesn’t deserve to be aired (to the profit of few) when moviemakers were so disinterested in all of the above.

Oppenheimer was made because a white guy who thinks he’s a genius wanted to dwell on a white guy tortured genius who he related to. That’s the only reason. We don’t need more such vanity projects. And I don’t think it’s historically significant to keep telling stories about war crimes from the perspective of the criminal.

“Oppenheimer” shouldn’t exist.

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