Apocalypse ’45: Review

Apocalypse '45

On December 7th 1941, Japan attacked US Navy base, Pearl Harbor that triggered the Pacific War between the US and Japan which ended with the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945 which is known throughout the world as VJ Day.

Using footage through World War Two from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the bombing and aftermath of the effects of the Hiroshima bomb, Apocalypse ’45 tells the story through images that have been digitally enhanced and colourised and the voices of some of the American soldiers themselves who are still alive to tell the tale.

Apocalypse ’45 guides the audience through the narrative of the second world war and using the first hand experiences of the American soldiers (some of Japanese descent themselves) to recall the atrocities that they witnessed and can never forget 75 years later.



Hearing the voices of the men that served and their different opinions on what they had to endure is an enlightening and heart-breaking thing to watch. Because although there are times where they talk about their experiences so frankly, every so often the emotions behind their words comes flooding out.

Some talk about the regret they felt at the time for having to do the things that they were ordered to do, whilst others talk about looking back and the things that haunt them still to this day. A truly sobering account that many of us can’t even imagine having to go through.

The amount of footage that Apocalypse ’45 has is truly astounding and the way it has painstakingly restored and been able to be put into order to tell a narrative is truly impressive. Also, the colours of the footage are so vivid, bright and realistic that the audience may soon forget that the likelihood or this footage being shot in colour in the first place was practically zero.

Apocalypse ’45 is a timely documentary that reminds us of the horrific repercussions of war and although what happened in Hiroshima put an end to World War Two, the question is still raised as to the ethical value of ending something so dramatically.


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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.