Last Updated 02 Apr 2020

White Light/Black Rain Opr

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White Light/Black Rain OPR August 6-9, 1945: The first atomic bombs are dropped over the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulting in the greatest nuclear catastrophe ever in terms of human casualties. As time fades these horrific events into obscure moments in history, many people become ignorant of the damage caused by the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Steven Okazaki in White Light/Black Rain utilizes the rhetoric strategies ethos, pathos and logos to reveal the full destructive power of nuclear weapons and to convince future generations that nuclear weapons should never again be employed in war.

By peppering quantitative data and statistics throughout the film, Okazaki effectively appeals to logos and displays the measurable damage caused from the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Okazaki states that 140,000 people were killed instantly from the explosions and 160,000 died later as a result of radiation poisoning or burns. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were wiped off the face of the earth from the cataclysmic eruptions of heat and radiation from these man made weapons of mass destruction.

Even more were forever cursed with the chronic complications from heat and radiation exposure such as third-degree burns, hair loss, and later cancer. Okazaki also declares that in the twenty-first century, there are enough nuclear weapons to cause as much damage as 40,000 Hiroshimas. This amount of nuclear firepower has the potential to kill millions of people and alter global climate. Nuclear warfare can only end in destruction.

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By providing the measurable damage of nuclear weapons used in in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Okazaki reveals their alarming destructive potential and reminds younger generations of its horrible consequences. Okazaki establishes ethos in his film by including interviews of many survivors from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and by rolling footage of the aftermath of the bombings. During the interviews, the bomb survivors recount their awful story and show the horrific injuries sustained from the atomic bombs.

Their recount of the deaths, destruction, disease, and poverty suffered calls in to question the morality of killing and maiming so many innocent people. During the interviews, the bomb survivors recall having family member killed, homes destroyed, or body parts scorched beyond repair. Black and white footage of the cities after their bombings exposes their utter decimation. Although the Japanese could rebuild their cities, they were unaware of the radiation that would linger in the land for ages.

The effects of chronic radiation exposure caused mutations and tumors in many who lived in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombings. It is unjustifiable to intentionally cause mass destruction in any scenario, and Okazaki clearly questions the authority and ethic of the atomic bombs through the first-hand accounts of their repercussions. Dissonant background music and disturbing images of dead and severely burned and sick children establish the strong pathos against nuclear weapons in Okazaki’s film.

During scenes of the tragic death and destruction brought by nuclear weapons, Okazaki plays quiet, echoing, and dissonant instrumental music. These audible elements combine to create a harsh and somber tone. The sorrowful, minor key music augments the woeful scenes of wreckage and induces pity and empathy. Scenes including mutilated and burned children appeal especially to emotions. The innocence of the children juxtaposed with their atrocious injuries induces a sense of anger against the atomic bombings.

Viewing emotionally and physically scarred children strikes a discord in the hearts of the compassionate and emotional viewers. Okazaki successfully connects the emotions in the music and disturbing images to deter anyone from justifying the need for nuclear weapons. Clearly, by combining ethical, emotional, and logical consequences of the of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Steven Okazaki in White Light/Black Rain, educates future generations about the consequences of using nuclear weapons and persuades them away from the idea of nuclear warfare.

White Light/Black Rain Opr essay

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White Light/Black Rain Opr. (2016, Dec 25). Retrieved from

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