Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise (EFFA UP LATE)

  • ACMI CINEMAS Federation Square, Flinders Street Melbourne Australia

Dir. Mark Cousins | 2015 | 69mins | UK | Australian Premiere

Commemorating the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mark Cousins’ Atomic: Living In Dread and Promise offers a visceral investigation into the positive and negative ramifications of life in the nuclear age. An experimental essay film assembled using found-footage, the film eschews narration for a brooding original score by Scottish post-rocker’s Mogwai.

Atomic bravely explores not only the devastation wrought by nuclear power; showcasing footage of protest marches, Cold-War instructional safety videos and the disasters of Chernobyl and Fukishima, but asks the viewer to consider the myriad benefits of living in an atomic age. Cousin’s authorial voice shines through luminously in this post-modern montage that combines artful repetitions of material, poetic juxtaposition and arresting visuals of horrific beauty. Atomic is an impressionistic kaleidoscope, a sensory experience at once dream-like and nightmarish, that will move you to the core.

Make no mistake; Atomic, Living In Dread and Promise is one of the most important pieces of film ever created. A vital film that NEEDS to be seen.
— Simon Tucker, Louder Than Bombs
…What Cousins has achieved here is a film that is both alluring and memorable on a visceral level; it conjures a complex range of emotions. Nuclear power is an issue about which we must both think and feel strongly and Atomic certainly helps us do the latter.
— Tom Cottey, Reflections on Film
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