Atomic Mom: A Documentary Film Viewing and Conversation with Director M.T. Silvia
Tuesday, April 3
Film starts at 4:15pm
Conversation with Director, M.T. Silvia starts at 5:45pm
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 U.S. 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 (Producer/Director) is an independent filmmaker. Her first documentary Picardy Drive (2002, Documentary, 57min) 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 (1990, Drama, 124min), and assistant sound editor on It’s Elementary (1996, Documentary, 80min), and Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore (1997, Drama, 98min).
**This event is co-sponsored by the Japan Policy Research Institute at USF Center for the Pacific Rim.**
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