On Friday, members of London’s NGO and press communities gathered for a private screening of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. The film follows the controversial J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of Los Alamos during World War II and commonly referred to as the ‘father of the atomic bomb’.

The screening opened with a panel moderated by Andreas Persbo, Director of Open Nuclear Network (formerly of VERTIC). The panel discussion focused on the past, present, and future of nuclear non-proliferation and perception of the threats posed by nuclear weapons. A recording of the panel is available on YouTube.

Following the screening, VERTIC hosted a reception where guests continued discussions prompted by the panel and film. We were glad to hear abundant reflection and debates, and we hope similar conversations are taking place en masse following the film’s busy opening weekend. The ethical quandaries, historical context and dynamics of power behind the development of nuclear weapons remain vital to understanding such a seminal moment in history and its consequences which extend to the present day. It is our hope that the high visibility of this film reignites public support for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament initiatives.

Many thanks to Pax Sapiens and Open Nuclear Network for organising this event, and to our fellow supporting organisations: the Royal United Services Institute, European Leadership Network, Ploughshares Fund, School of International Futures and The Elders.

Andreas Persbo, Mary Robinson, Shashank Joshi and Marcela Capaja sit for the panel discussion prior to the Oppenheimer screening.