(80 minutes) Japan/USA
Director/Producer: M.T. Silvia
Atomic Mom weaves an intimate portrait of a complex mother-daughter relationship within an obscure but important moment in American history. As the only female scientist present during atomic detonations in the Nevada desert, Pauline Silvia, the filmmaker's mother, undergoes a crisis of conscience. After a long silence and prompted by her daughter, she finally reveals grim secrets of working in the US atomic testing program. In our present moment of Wikileaks, Pauline is a similar whistle-blower, having been cowed by the silencing machine of the US military for decades. In an attempt to reconcile with her own mother's past, her daughter, filmmaker M.T. Silvia, meets Emiko Okada, a Hiroshima survivor trying to resolve her own history in Japan. The film follows these survivors, each on a different end of atomic warfare, as they "meet" through the filmmaking process, and as they, with startling honestly, attempt to understand the other. Atomic Mom invites viewers to confront American nuclear history in a completely new way and will inspire dialogue about human rights, personal responsibility, and the possibility and hope of peace.
M.T. Silvia is an independent filmmaker. Her first documentary Picardy Drive aired on KQED’s ImageMaker series, FreeSpeechTV and is available on home video. She has worked professionally as an engineer in the film industry for over twenty years at both Skywalker Sound and Pixar Animation Studios. Among many mainstream film credits, she has also worked as a recording engineer on Wild at Heart, and assistant sound editor on It’s Elementary and Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore.
Web site: www.atomicmom.org