The Atomic Cafe and The War Game
Saturday, September 10, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
The Atomic Cafe. Dirs. Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty. 1982, 86 mins. Digital projection. In the Cold War years following the explosion of nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Americans learned how to live under the threat of nuclear war. The Atomic Cafe, constructed entirely from newsreel and documentary footage, television news kinescopes, Army training films, and commercial pictures of the time, is by turns, hilarious, thought-provoking, and chilling.
The War Game. Dir. Peter Watkins. 1965, 48 mins. 35mm print from the Academy Film Archive. This vivid “fabricated” documentary records the horrors of an atomic war in gruesome detail, making clear the impossibility of defense and the overwhelming destruction. Produced by the BBC, the film was promptly banned, becoming both notorious and rarely seen, yet was shown abroad and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
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