Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise
June 8th, 2016

Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise [2015]

Please join us for a special screening of Mark Cousins’ festival favorite documentary Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise [2015].

  • Screening Date: Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 | 8:00pm
  • Venue: Burning Books
  • Specifications: 2015 / 72 minutes / English / Color
  • Director(s): Mark Cousins
  • Print: Supplied by Hopscotch Films
  • Tickets: Free and Open to the Public
  • Extras: Stop in early for FREE Breadhive baked goods while supplies last!
  • Deal: Bring your ticket stubs and join us at The Black Sheep after the show for 2 for 1 drink specials

Spring 2016 Season Sponsor:

Event Sponsors:

Venue Information:

420 Connecticut St, Buffalo, NY 14213

TrailerSynopsisDirector BioLinks

Courtesy of Hopscotch Films:

70 years ago this month the bombing of Hiroshima showed the appalling destructive power of the atomic bomb. Mark Cousins’ bold new documentary looks at death in the atomic age, but life too. Using only archive film and a new musical score by the band Mogwai, Atomic shows us an impressionistic kaleidoscope of our nuclear times: protest marches, Cold War sabre rattling, Chernobyl and Fukishima, but also the sublime beauty of the atomic world, and how X Rays and MRI scans have improved human lives. The nuclear age has been a nightmare, but dreamlike too.


  • Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival – 2015
  • Göteborg Film Festival – 2016

“Painting = Seeing + Thinking.”

Courtesy of the I am Belfast press kit:

Mark Cousins is an Northern Irish filmmaker, writer and curator living and working in Scotland. In the early 1990s he became director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. He has made films for TV about neo-Nazism, Ian Hamilton Finlay and the Cinema of Iran.

His 2004 book The Story of the Film, was published in Europe, America, China, Mexico, Brazil and Taiwan. The Times said of it “by some distance the best book we have read on cinema.” Cousins adapted the book into a 930-minute film, The Story of Film: An Odyssey (“The place from which all future revisionism should begin” – New York Times). Michael Moore gave it the Stanley Kubrick Award at his Traverse City Film Festival. It won a Peabody in 2014.

Next Cousins wrote, directed and filmed his first feature documentary, The First Movie, about kids in Kurdish Iraq. It won the Prix Italia. His other feature films include What Is This Film Called Love?, Here Be Dragons, A Story of Children and Film, which was in the Official Selection in Cannes, Life May Be, co-directed with Iranian filmmaker Mania Akbari, and 6 Desires, an adaptation of DH Lawrence’s book Sea and Sardinia. He is currently making Stockholm My Love, a symphony starring Neneh Cherry, and directing the archive film Atomic, a collaboration with the band Mogwai.

Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images


  • The Storms of Jeremy Thomas (2021)
  • The Story of Film: A New Generation (2021)
  • The Story of Looking (2021)
  • Storm in My Heart (2019)
  • Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema (2018)
  • The Eyes of Orson Welles (2018)
  • Stockholm, My Love (2016)
  • Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise (2015)
  • I Am Belfast (2015)
  • 6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia (2014)
  • The Film That Buys the Cinema (2014)
  • Life May Be (2014)
  • Here Be Dragons (2013)
  • A Story of Children and Film (2013)
  • What Is This Film Called Love? (2012)
  • 60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero (2011)
  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011)
  • The First Movie (2009)
  • The New Ten Commandments (2008)
  • Cinema Iran (2005)
  • I Know Where I’m Going! Revisited (1994)
  • The Psychology of Neo-Nazism: Another Journey by Train to Auschwitz (1993)

Here is a curated selection of links shared on our Facebook page for additional insight/information:

  • 6/3/16 – We will proudly be sending all donations given at next week’s Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise screening at Burning Books to the MPS Society for MPS disease support, research and awareness. If you’d like to find out more or would like to donate directly, click here.
  • 6/4/16 – “The CCC turns one year old this month with a lineup highlighted by the great Werner Herzog. The Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, the Wrath of God director is also a fascinating documentary filmmaker, and his latest looks to be no exception. Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World by Werner Herzog, a study of our interconnecting online lives, has its Buffalo premiere at 7 p.m. on June 13 at the North Park Theatre (1428 Hertel Ave.). The month also includes Mark Cousins’ Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise – Free Film Screening, a documentary about the nuclear age, at 8 p.m. on June 8 at Burning Books (420 Connecticut St.). And Jan Ole Gerster’s charming narrative feature A Coffee In Berlin screens at 1 p.m. on June 25 at the Mason O. Damon Auditorium at the Buffalo & Erie Central Library (1 Lafayette Sq.).” Christopher Schobert, Buffalo Spree magazine – link
  • 6/7/16 – “[Mark Cousins’ Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise] may be the most important thing Mogwai have ever been involved in and not only do they create a piece of work that matches their usual level of beauty, but also their most surreal and disturbing music to date.” Simon Tucker, Louder Than Warlink
  • 3/24/17 – Cultivate Cinema Circle alum Mark Cousins wrote a letter to the late Ingmar Bergman, ten years after his death. – link

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