Friday, April 8, 2011

434. The War Game (1965)

Running Time: 48 minutes
Directed By: Peter Watkins
Written By: Peter Watkins
Main Cast: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham


"The War Game" is currently streaming on Netflix and due to the fact that that's the only way to watch it, I decided to get it done before they took it down.

This shouldn't take too long, as the films is only 48 minutes in length. The short, documentary style film basically shows us what would happen if Britain were to fall under nuclear attack by Soviet forces. The film really gets terrifying when we're given a time and date and the narrator tells us the events that are happening as a nucl
ear bomb lands some twenty five miles from the site that the camera focuses on. It gives staggering statistics, stating that a blast (even one twenty five miles away) would still give off a light 30 times brighter than the midday sun and could cause severe damage anyone's retina that saw the blast. Even more so, the film gathers statistics from other, real blast sites (Hiroshima, Nagasaki, etc.) and basically plays out the vicious chain of horror that would follow. The film states that police would probably be called into assist doctors in putting patients, that were too injured for medical care, out of their misery. Furthermore, police and military personnel would be given bonuses of food rations and that the public would lash out, creating riots. Basically, I'll stop there and summarize the whole thing by saying it's a short, yet horrific tale of what would happen if nuclear war were to break out in Britain.

In fact, the film basically (in not so many w
ords) states that by 1980 (the film was made in 1965) the probability of a nuclear attack is high. Let's not stretch this out, as that pretty much tells you the premise of the film. What are my thoughts on it? Well the whole film is a pretty tough pill to swallow and I defy anyone to watch the film and try to stop your mind from wandering. Personally, I started thinking about the probability of nuclear attack in today's society and I broadened my thoughts by asking myself the question, "Why do nuclear weapons even exist in the first place?". Should you see it? Yes. I mean, the film is forty eight minutes, so if you can get your hands on it, by all means take a look at it. Let your mind wander, let your thoughts crop up and see the horror that could take place and has taken place in certain parts of the world.

In closing, I think one of the strongest, saddest moments of the film comes when the narrator tells us of his interview with a group of young children orphaned due to the attack. He asks them, post-nuclear war, what they want to be when they grow up and they all, without hesitation, answer, "I don't want to be nothing".

--- I'm not going to rate "The War Game", simply because to me it was more of an educational film (although fictional). I could pull a rating out of my ass, if hard pressed, but I'll just say that I would recommend seeing it and that it is a powerful film. Bottom line: The first film in 249 reviews that I deem un-rateable.


April 8, 2011 4:12pm

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