At the height of Atomic research between 1945-1965, one driving philosophy dominated US foreign policy, no better spoken than by Admiral Brady upon his return from testing on the Bikini islands in the pacific 1949:
It is essential, that no world power gain ascendancy over the United States in the development, manufacture, and tactical use of atomic weapons
Edited almost entirely with archival footage and accentuated by a stellar classical soundtrack, the film mixes two voices. One is an historical authority using press reels and previously classified military documentation to present the prevalent attitudes of the day, a zeitgeist perhaps best summed up by an unnamed officer filmed standing on the observation tower overlooking an early and historic test. He says:
You have a grandstand seat here, to one of the most momentous events in the history of science. In less than a minute, You will see the most powerful explosion ever witnessed by human eyes. The blast will come out of the horizon, just about there [he points]. And this is the significance of the moment, this is the first full scale test of a hydrogen device. If the reaction goes, we will be in the thermonuclear era. For the sake of all of us, and for the sake of our country, I know that you join me, in wishing this expedition well..." He never says what the alternative to success is.
The second voice is subtle, and understated, always shadowed by the ever present dark knowledge and destructive goals, which defined the Trinity project. It can be heard whispering as we are confronted by the undeniable beauty of the explosions themselves, and the odd, twisted hope they carry for an irascible and stubborn human race testing it's boundaries. It is the voice of awe, daring us over and over not to cower in the face of what can be achieved by our own brilliance.
Narrated by William Shatner, "Trinity and Beyond" is quintessential watching for any fan of atomic history.
added by: bill