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‘Oppenheimer’ release sparks debate over long-term impacts to New Mexicans

<i></i><br/>The release of the new film

The release of the new film "Oppenheimer" is bringing about new conversations on the life and development of the world's first atomic bomb.

By Stephanie Muñiz

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    LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico (KOAT) — This weekend marked the 78th anniversary of the “Trinity Test,” the first detonation of an atomic bomb.

This weekend, “Oppenheimer” is being released in theaters all over the country.

Sparking conversation about the long-term effects of the first atomic bomb.

The release of the new film “Oppenheimer” is bringing about new conversations on the life and development of the world’s first atomic bomb.

“As all of that was going on, well, how do you build a nuclear weapon not knowing if, For instance, Nazi Germany would develop a nuclear weapon the next day? There were just all these unknowns,” Alan Carr, a laboratory historian from the National Security Research Center, said.

The man leading the research and development for the Manhattan Project, J. Robert Oppenheimer.

“A fascinating character. A great scientist, a humanist. And I don’t think it’s any surprise to me at all that his story is revisited decade after decade after decade,” Carr said.

But not everyone is excited about the film.

“The filmmakers have refused also to acknowledge the sacrifice and the suffering of the people of New Mexico in the process of the Manhattan Project and the Trinity bomb detonation,” Tina Cordovan, the co-founder of Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, said.

A reminder of what people in the Tularosa Basin have experienced.

“We were left to deal with the fallout and the horrendous negative health effects associated with that. And we’ve done our share. It’s time for our government to come back and fix the mess that was made here,” Cordova said.

Cordova said New Mexicans and Native Americans played a huge part in the Manhattan Project.

A part of history, she says, should be acknowledged.

“Shame on them for looking the other way from us and repeating what was done to us when the Manhattan Project came here,” Cordova said.

Cordova is encouraging people to watch the film but also have meaningful conversations on the impact of all New Mexicans.

Several advertisements will be played in theatres through out the country talking about the history of the people in New Mexico who were impacted by the Manhattan Project.

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