DocHouse Picks: Nuclear Weapons documentaries

Thursday 12 January, 2017

Robert Kenner's COMMAND AND CONTROL tells the long-hidden story of a deadly accident at a Titan II missile complex in Damascus, Arkansas in 1980. Based on the critically-acclaimed book by Eric Schlosser, the chilling documentary exposes the terrifying truth about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal and shows what can happen when the weapons built to protect us threaten to destroy us. 

COMMAND AND CONTROL screens daily at the DocHouse from Friday 13th January. BOOK tickets here.

In anticipation we've been thinking in the DocHouse office about other docs exploring the testing, use and devastating impact of nuclear weapons. Here are ten must-sees:

THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD - Dir. Peter Anthony / 2014  

The extraordinary story of Stanislav Petrov, once a colonel in the Soviet army, who averted the third world war in 1983 after receiving false information about U.S. missiles heading toward the Soviet Union.

THE WAR GAME - Dir. Peter Watkins / 1965

Celebrated drama-documentary about an imagined 1965 nuclear attack on Kent. which vividly details the public and private consequences of nuclear hostility.

AFTER THE APOCALYPSE - Dir.  Antony Butts / 2010 

Exploring the aftermath of Soviet nuclear testing in rural Kazakhstan, where locals are still paying the price of radioactivity. 

RADIO BIKINI - Dir. Robert Stone / 1988

The story of the greatest operation to test nuclear weapons ever conducted by the United States, at a remote Pacific atoll called Bikini in the summer of 1946.

TANKOGRAD - Dir. Boris Bertram / 2010

Following the world-class dance group from the Siberian town of Tankograd, the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear bomb and now the most radioactive place on earth. 

TRINITY AND BEYOND: THE ATOMIC BOMB MOVIE - Dir. Peter Kuran / 1995

Profiling the history of the U.S. nuclear weapons program from 1945-63, featuring newly unclassified atomic test footage.

THE ATOMIC CAFE - Dir Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty / 1982

Exploring the harrowing misinformation surrounding the U.S. government’s acquisition, development and testing of the atomic and hydrogen bombs. The Atomic Cafe uses an extensive archive of 1940s and 1950s United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure the American people.

CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS: THREE MEN GO TO WAR - Dir. John Murray, Emer Reynolds / 2012

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis this film details the actions of President John F. Kennedy, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, and Cuba's Fidel Castro during the 13-day stalemate.

WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN: THE DESTRUCTION OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI - Dir. Steven Okazaki / 2007 

The reality of nuclear warfare featuring first-hand accounts from those who survived and whose lives were forever changed by the atomic bomb.

COUNTDOWN TO ZERO - Dir Lucy Walker / 2010 

Tracing the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs: nine nations possessing nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them, leaving the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident.