“There is a familial myth that my late Grandfather would not have survived being a Japanese Prisoner of War had the atomic bombing of Hiroshima not occurred. So it could be argued that I owe my existence to one of the most terrifying events of human history and the death of 110,000 people.”
This family lore regarding David Blandys grandfather, held as a POW in Malaya and Taiwan from 1942, provides the genesis of Child of the Atom. Generated by an underlying guilt about his own and also his daughters existence, Blandys film documents their visit to Hiroshima to literally and symbolically search for their origins. It is narrated by the future voice of his infant daughter, describing her memories of the trip. The filmed scenes are interspersed with flashback sequences of apocalyptic anime, which have been sampled and altered, working with Manga artist Inko , to include a figure, the films eponymous hero, in the animated destruction and aftermath of the bomb. The film oscillates between moments of intimacy with his daughter and the dramatic and violent scenes of stylized explosion witnessed or caused by the Child of the Atom.
This latest work is perhaps Blandy’s most intimate and direct piece of self-examination and follows directly from the earlier works which sought to question how much of a Western sense of identity can be constructed from diverse popular sources.
The film was presented as part of an installation at the Seventeen Gallery in November/October 2010.