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David Marshall Grant,
Rae Dawn Chong
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Nuclear war in the United States is portrayed in a realistic and believable manner. The story is told through the eyes of a woman who is struggling to take care of her family. The entire movie takes place in a small suburban town outside San Francisco. After the nuclear attack, contact with the outside world is pretty much cut off. Written by
Mark Logan <email@example.com>
The film was originally shot as a made-for-TV movie. Paramount executives were so impressed with it that they released it in theaters as a feature. The cast sued the producers for higher pay, claiming they were paid television salaries and not feature film salaries. The case was settled out of court. See more »
All of the comments i have read about this film focus on it's bleakness, on it's difficultly - due to subject matter, and many of them also quite rightly applaud the performance of Jane Alexander in the Central role. What none of them mention, and what seems so clear to me, is that this is a film that could only have been made by women.
There is no BIG EVENT here. No mass hysteria, violence, rape, disfigurement or any of those other factors that are paraded as horrifying in the majority of Nuclear War films - I am thinking specifically of Threads and The Day After Here.
In Testament we actually see humanity. We see how one family, one community copes with the devastation of just that - their family and their community.
This is what is so tragic, compelling and ultimately horrifying about this film. It is not a panache, it is not a broad canvas. It is about people not about issues and as such the humanity shines through.
I am not saying the other films aren't powerful in their way. They are - and both Threads and The Day After gave me nightmares. But Testament was so far beyond them in terms of simple courage and purpose. There was no grandiose, no glamour or tacked on love story. This was not hollywood, was life or the end of it, and all the more frightening for it.
Testament is one of the main reasons why we should see more women making politic films - and perhaps running a few more countries.
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