Skip to main content

Albuquerque Museum Presents Special Screenings of “First We Bombed New Mexico”

New documentary by Lois Lipman recognizes the 79th anniversary of the Trinity Test and tells the story that “Oppenheimer” left out
July 08, 2024

The Albuquerque Museum will present two screenings of First We Bombed New Mexico, a new award-winning documentary by Lois Lipman about the Tularosa Basin Downwinders. The screenings are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16 in the Ventana Salon. The film is being shown in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition Nuclear Communities of the Southwest, and recognizes the 79th anniversary of the Trinity Test.

Fueled by the righteous anger of activist and cancer survivor Tina Cordova, Lipman’s film is a revelatory call to action. It tells the compelling untold story of the Trinity Test, the world's first nuclear bomb that was secretly detonated near White Sands one month before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, effectively ending World War II.

Known as downwinders, residents lived as close as 12 miles from Oppenheimer’s bomb and suffered nuclear fallout and exposure without warning. Their water and land were poisoned, and multigenerational cancers followed and continue today. This film documents the downwinders’ plight to expand the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which ended in June 2024.

Filmmaker Lois Lipman says, “I am making this film to witness the people’s narrative for voices not yet heard. We must not let the US Government’s scientific achievements and military might be the only picture in the history of Trinity… [It is a story of] environmental racism and a prevailing attitude towards people of color who were once considered ‘unsophisticated, uneducated, and unable to speak up for themselves’.”

The film is selling out festival screenings across the country, winning awards, getting standing ovations and electrifying audiences.   

"I offer my endorsement of the documentary film First We Bombed New Mexico, by Producer/Director Lois Lipman. This film highlights a story wholly unknown to the vast majority of Americans – or the world, for that matter – yet one the aftermath of which haunts us today." - Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico.

“By hearing these stories, we honor our complex past and recognize truths that should never be forgotten." said Mayor Tim Keller. “The Albuquerque Museum continues to fulfil its mission of giving us these special opportunities to learn and be inspired.”

“A counterpoint to Christopher Nolan’s biopic about one man’s race to become Death, Lois Lipman’s First We Bombed New Mexico captures the real-life counter crusade of one of Oppenheimer’s countless, unsung American victims.” - Oscar Rodriguez, Austin Chronicle.

Admission to the screening is free, however, tickets should be reserved at

About the Filmmaker:

Lois Lipman is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker who field produced 24 stories around the world for CBS News 60 Minutes. Her expose Til Death Do Us Part – Dowry Deaths in India was awarded Best Documentary by American Women in Film and Television and led to system changes in India, and her film about BBC Radio won an Emmy. Lipman field produced a Peabody Award winning film about Arthur Mitchell and Dance Theatre Harlem for 60 Minutes in Spain and NYC. While based in London, she produced hour-long documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4- UK, and PBS in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, Gaza, Israel, India, the Dominican Republic, and countries in between.

Official film website: