New Oppenheimer documentary announced

The documentary, to be released in July, explores the continuing impact of Oppenheimer’s legacy on the Laboratory’s science and mission today

June 14, 2023

Oppenheimer Documentary
J. Robert Oppenheimer and Gen. Leslie Groves.

Get ready! This July, the National Security Research Center (NSRC), Los Alamos National Laboratory’s classified research library, will release a new, unclassified documentary about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Lab’s first director and leader of Project Y under the direction of Manhattan Project leader Gen. Leslie Groves. 

The movie is currently scheduled to be premiered for employees on July 26, after which it will be made available to the public.

Experts tell the story

“The Lab is in a unique position to tell this story, thanks to our historic collections, which actually began as Oppenheimer's wartime technical library during the Manhattan Project,” said Brye Steeves, director of the NSRC. “Oppenheimer’s legacy is part of our legacy today. The work that he began underlies our contributions today to our nation's security.”

The approximately hourlong documentary tells the story of Oppenheimer’s life at the Laboratory using notes, photos and films from the NSRC’s special collection and through interviews with the Laboratory’s past and present leadership, historians, physicists and biographers. Interviewees include current Laboratory Director Thom Mason; former Director Charlie McMillan; Kai Bird, author of the Oppenheimer biography “American Prometheus”; Jim Kunetka, author of “The General and the Genius”; and recently retired U.S. Senate staffer Tim Rieser, who was instrumental in vacating the revocation of Oppenheimer’s security clearance, among others.