Love in Paradise: Films from the nuclear age

‘In some sort of crude sense, which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin’ – ROBERT J. OPPENHEIMER

In his last book Man and His Symbols Gustav Jung noted that a result of the atomic bomb was that ‘a new, totally different, and irrational reality has dawned behind the reality of our natural world.’ He quoted the painter Kandinsky: ‘In my mind, the collapse of the atom was the collapse of the whole world: suddenly the stoutest walls fell. Everything turned unstable, insecure, and soft. I would not have been surprised if a stone had melted into thin air before my eyes. Science seemed to have been annihilated.’

The pyschological impact of the bomb fascinated Jung. He thought the physicists had fractured not just atoms, but the collective unconscious of the human species. The bomb was a disaster, a terror that could touch the remotest peoples on earth, yet it was promoted––people were encouraged to admire it––as a glorious achievement.