Trinity and Beyond
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|Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie|
|Directed by||Peter Kuran|
|Produced by||Peter Kuran
Visual Concept Entertainment
|Written by||Scott Narrie
|Narrated by||William Shatner|
|September 29, 1995|
Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie is a 1995 American documentary film directed by Peter Kuran and narrated by William Shatner. Using restored archive footage, the film traces the development of nuclear weapons and their testing, from America's Trinity test of 1945 (hence the title) to the first Chinese atomic bomb test in 1964. Kuran's commentary on the DVD version claims that the DVD replaces some of the original footage with better-quality versions. There are some short special effects sequences too. The film has also since been released on Blu-ray.
Included is footage of nuclear tests starting with the May 1945 trial run to Trinity (the first atomic bomb), a 100-ton TNT blast used to scale and calibrate the Trinity device, and ending with the last U.S. atmospheric nuclear detonation (called Tightrope) of the Nike Hercules air defense missile in 1963. Also included are test series in the South Pacific, footage of the firing of the U.S. Army's atomic cannon at the Nevada Test Site in 1953, and color images of multi-megaton high altitude air bursts over Johnston Island just before the limited test ban treaty went into effect (banning all except underground detonations) in 1963.
The film's publicity claims that much of the American footage is newly declassified and previously unseen. Kuran's research brought him into contact with many of the cameramen who photographed the American tests, leading to the production of another documentary, Atomic Filmmakers which featured their reminiscences of working on the program. A new patented image restoration process was used for the first time to improve considerably the image quality of old and fading film stock.
The film's music (composed by William T. Stromberg) was performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, symbolizing the end of the cold war. The score was later used in some trailers for the X-Men movies.
Footage from a Soviet documentary about the Tsar Bomba is featured in Trinity and Beyond, where it is referred to as the Russian monster bomb. The movie states that the Tsar Bomba project broke the voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests. In fact, Soviets restarted their tests and broke the unilateral voluntary moratorium two months before Tsar Bomba and since the moratorium was unilateral there was no multilateral legal obstacle (earlier, the U.S. also declared a one-year unilateral moratorium on nuclear tests and as that year expired the U.S. had already announced that it considered itself free to resume testing without further notice but had not resumed tests until the aftermath of Tsar Bomba).
- Chuang, Angie (13 April 1997). "Here's a Project Started at Ground Zero". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Broad, William J. (13 September 2010). "The Bomb Chroniclers". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2012.