Special, uh, Bulletin

A weekA nuclear attack ago, there was a discussion on Metafilter about the 25th anniversary of the release of the (TV movie) ‘The Day After’. In the comments section, you can find several links to full versions of several movies related to the cold war and nuclear aftermath(s) (The Day After, Special Bulletin, The War Game, Countdown to Looking Glass and Threads. The quality is so-so: Watchable but not worth putting it on your portable HD device.

I think, it’s safe to say that most people who grew up in the Eighties are familiar with ‘The Day After': looking back, however, I find ‘Threads’ a more solid representation (and depressing) of a nuclear war aftermath. No doubt that there were Dutch documentaries like these too, but, of course, none that I can remember. Years after, when doing military service I laughed off the plausibility of our success rate or even the battalion’s survival during and after a nuclear attack. That skepticism was generally shared among my fellow soldiers, and most likely, fellow Europeans.

Maybe this is the main difference between the US produced ‘The Day After’ and the UK produced ‘Threads': American movies always seemed to focus on the explosion and not on the life after that (“The Nuclear Winter”). Hollywood has a knack in compressing thousands of years of suffering into 2 minute voice-overs.

While I’m at anniversaries: today also marks the 20th anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster (Wikipedia).