rare example of a tv movie that is actually well done. “brian’s song” is the only other film i can think of that falls into that category. it’s a pretty chilling telling of what might happen in anytown usa in the case of a nuclear attack. it takes place in kansas city and starts soon before the nuclear war begins. russia escalates things in west germany (the film was made in 1983) and then we escalate things and missiles are fired. it all happens very quickly and we don’t see much behind the scenes stuff. this is effective because it gives us the same sense of disconnection that 99% of the population might feel. the film deals with the topic and the dirty aftermath in a sober and straightforward way. it’s not sullen, maudlin, or heavy handed, but it has the requisite weight.
one woman character in the film remarks that she isn’t too concerned about the russians invading w. germany because we don’t have as much of a stake there, she adds: “if the russians were taking oil from saudi arabia then i’d be worried.” prophetic if you ask me. a mother remarks to her family “we’re lucky to be alive” the father responds “we’ll see how lucky that is.” there’s nothing fancy or poetic in that remark, but it beats the point home well nonetheless. the only point in the film where the filmmakers come off as didactic is the final note which essentially states that the film was made with the hope that it would sway the leaders of the world to find peaceable solutions to their differences. it also states that the aftermath depicted in the film is likely more severe than would be experienced by the average person in such a situation. i could have done without both of these end notes.