Poster for the movie "Oppenheimer" (Al Jazeera)

Wesley Burris was sleeping peacefully in his bed when the first bomb of the nuclear age exploded just 40 kilometers from his home.

A bright light swept through his house, located in the New Mexico desert in the southwestern United States, and his windows were suddenly shattered by the impact of the amazing explosion.

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Wesley was no longer able to see anything because he was so dazzled by the glow of the explosion, and he asked his father, “What happened? Did the sun explode?”

This explosion, which occurred at 5:30 a.m. on July 16, 1945, and the preparations that preceded it, form the focus of the film “Oppenheimer,” which is most likely to win the most important Oscar.

However, the desert area in Christopher Nolan's three-hour film about the inventor of the atomic bomb appears completely empty, contrary to reality, and none of its inhabitants who were victims of this experiment called "Trinity" appear in the film.

However, in reality, according to a recent documentary, thousands of people, most of them Latinos and American Indians, lived within an 80-kilometre radius around the top-secret site chosen by the military and scientists to test the atomic bomb.

Boris, who is 83 years old today, said that none of the residents of the surrounding area understood why this giant mushroom-shaped cloud appeared on the horizon?

"We were not afraid, because it did not kill us immediately. We had no idea what it was," he added.

A rare photo of Los Alamos Laboratory Director, Robert Oppenheimer (wearing a light-colored hat and placing his left foot on the rubble of the bombing) (Getty)

Today, eight decades later, this American is well aware of the deadly consequences of the explosion that expelled radioactive elements up to a height of 15 kilometers.

The test was conducted in stormy weather despite warnings from scientists, as the United States was in a hurry because it was in the midst of a race to manufacture an atomic bomb that would end World War II.

After the explosion, heavy rains returned all the toxic materials to the ground, and thus the radiation affected the desert land, its dust, water sources, and the entire food chain.

As a result, Boris's brother died of cancer.

His sister also battled the same disease, and today she is her daughter.

He himself suffers from skin cancer, and is trying to treat it today using natural Native American medicine.

Despite the heavy price paid by the victims of the Manhattan Project, none of them received any compensation.

“We were treated like laboratory rats,” said Tina Cordova, who has recovered from cancer and heads an association demanding justice for these people.

She stressed that "no one has ever returned to see the population's situation," unlike what happens to laboratory rats.

This activist believed that the importance of "Oppenheimer" lies in the fact that he cemented the "Trinity" experience in the minds of millions of viewers, but she regretted that the feature film "did not go far enough."

She hoped the cast of the 13-Oscar-nominated film would use the March 10 party as a platform to "acknowledge the sacrifices and suffering of the people of New Mexico."

"They knew we existed when they made the film, but they chose to ignore us again," said the woman whose family has been haunted by cancer for five generations since 1945.

I hoped that the United States would correct this historical injustice.

The laws provided compensation for damages suffered by residents of Nevada, Utah, and Arizona as a result of subsequent nuclear tests, but nothing of the sort was ever allocated to the victims of the first bomb in New Mexico.

Charitable activities are often held to help families who are in debt due to the expensive medical bills they incur.

Cordova said jokingly, "Perhaps the US Department of Defense should hold an activity to sell sweets every week to fill the deficit in its budget, as we are forced to do."

As for Wesley Burris, he described the film "Oppenheimer" as "a pack of lies."

"How many people died here? They didn't say anything about it at all," he asked.

Boris recounted that two strangers wearing strange glasses were seen near his house on the day of the explosion in July 1945, and they did not say a word.

The authorities then spoke of an "ammunition explosion."

A few years later, men wearing white clothes and masks took soil samples near the family home.

Wesley Boris's brother was worried, and they told him, "You have to leave this place because this will kill you."

Source: Al Jazeera + agencies