14

SUNDAY

“Cover your eyes when they count to zero,” John Smitherman was told before the U.S. military dropped an atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll in July 1946. Once the shock waves and mushroom cloud passed, the young Navy sailor got his orders to go to ground zero. Four decades after hanging out in the fallout, swimming in and drinking from a sea of dead fish, cancer-stricken multiple amputee Smitherman tells his horror story in Robert Stone’s 1987 documentary Radio Bikini. Stone mixes eyewitness interviews with declassified government footage of the test blasts in this tale of military miscalculation and weapons of mass destruction. Duck and cover when the film screens in conjunction with the exhibition “Atomic Time: Pure Science and Seduction” at 2:30 p.m. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $5. (202) 639-1700. (Chris Shott)