Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise

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Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise
Directed by Mark Cousins
Produced by
Music by Mogwai
Release date
10 August 2015
Running time
70 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise is a documentary film about nuclear history directed by Mark Cousins. It uses only archive footage to explore life and death in the atomic age. The band Mogwai created the original soundtrack. The film, with a live performance by Mogwai, closed the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016. It was then shown on BBC Storyville to mark 70 years since the bombing of Hiroshima.[1] The soundtrack was subsequently reworked by Mogwai into a studio album, Atomic.

The film[edit]

Mark Cousins' montage explores the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Chernobyl disaster, Fukushima disaster, and the Three Mile Island accident. There are also protests: the Aldermaston marches and Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp. The Cold War also features.[2]

The subject matter was particularly relevant to Scotland following the independence referendum, which highlighted the issue of nuclear weapons at Faslane as part of the UK's Trident nuclear programme.[3]

Footage used in the film also shows the benefits of atomic science, such as the X-ray and MRI scans.[4]


  1. ^ Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise,, retrieved 12 October 2016
  2. ^ Festival Music review: Mogwai - Atomic, Edinburgh Playhouse,, 28 August 2016, retrieved 12 October 2016
  3. ^ Edinburgh International Festival REVIEW - Mogwai Play Atomic ****,, 31 August 2016, retrieved 12 October 2016
  4. ^ Mogwai & Mark Cousins at EIF: An assault on the senses,, 28 August 2016, retrieved 12 October 2016