Three months since its worldwide release, Christopher Nolan’s film about the creator of the atomic bomb, “Oppenheimer,” has yet to be seen in the only country where the weapons were dropped: Japan.
Neither Universal Studios, which rolled out the movie in the United States and other countries on July 21, nor Toho-Towa, Universal’s local distributor, have commented on its fate in the world’s third-largest cinema market; Toho-Towa tersely referred all queries regarding “Oppenheimer” to Universal and said it has yet to even receive any promotional materials from the company. Meanwhile, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations, which represents Japan’s hibakusha (victims of the World War II bombings), also declined to comment. “We haven’t seen the movie,” said a spokeswoman.
Hollywood movies are typically released without incident in Japan, though there are exceptions. “Unbroken,” a 2014 film depicting the real-life story of Louis Zamperini, a prisoner of war tortured by a sadistic Japanese camp commander, was stopped in its tracks by a campaign by the Japanese right-wing media. It was eventually screened at art house cinemas.