I WAS THERE (2023): The Old Man & A Little Boy

— Film Review
FFD 2023

“My name is Dr. Shuntaro Hida. I am a physician. On August 6, 1945, I was in Hiroshima, witnessing the atomic bombing.”

A deadly mushroom cloud graced the morning sky over Hiroshima. Little Boy, the code name for the nuclear bomb that caused more than 140,000 deaths, had been dropped by Enola Gay, a B-29 Flying Superfortress piloted by the United States military. Not as cute as its name, Little Boy ferociously and blindly burned Hiroshima in the blink of an eye.

Hiroshima never knew that America would deliver the latest explosive bomb that morning. The millions of warning leaflets dropped by the American military all over Japan did not list Hiroshima as one of the bombing targets. At the time, Hiroshima was an important city with a large military arsenal that was a gathering point for Japanese soldiers.

“The hospital I was working for was not well-built. About 300 doctors and nurses were at the hospital. We also had approximately 300 military patients. Only three people survived. If I had been there, I would not be with you here today.”

Physician Shuntaro Hida was saved by fate. The morning Hiroshima was struck by Little Boy, a friend living in the suburbs asked Hida to come home to check on his sick child. Despite being far from the epicenter of the blast, Hida was able to catch the glare of the explosion and the heat all over his body-which has remained in his memory for the past 70 years.

Chi-Jang Yin has conducted extensive research on the history of the Little Boy explosion for a decade. She paired Hida’s story as a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing with personal letters, petitions, photography, and other historical archives stored at the Truman Presidential Museum in America to fuel her trilogy of documentaries titled I WAS THERE (2023).

Not only does Yin awaken the collective memory of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombing, she also retraces the destructive effects of war and the use of nuclear bomb technology through her experimental documentary. The historical evidence she gathered also reveals the surprising reasons behind America’s use of weapons of mass destruction.

I WAS THERE (2023) is selected in Spektrum Festival Film Dokumenter 2023. (Hesty N. Tyas) (Vanis)


Film Details
Chi-Jang Yin | 14 Min | 2023 | United States | Color | 17+

Screening Schedule
12.06 | Auditorium IFI-LIP | 15.00 WIB
12.09 | Bioskop Sonobudoyo | 15.00 WIB