Just when you think you understand the way the world works, along comes a film like Kursk: Submarine In Troubled Waters to disturb your complacency. This astonishing documentary takes a look at the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk on August 12, 2000, an accident that was inevitably attributed to an accidental explosion caused by a faulty torpedo. In the immediate wake of the accident, Russian naval officers attributed the sinking to a torpedo strike from a U.S. Navy sub, an accusation I assumed was designed to cover up their own carelessness and ineptitude. The thesis of this film, however, is that the admirals were right all along: American subs were shadowing the Kursk during its Barents Sea exercises, and (intentionally or otherwise) rammed and then torpedoed it. The film is damning and its evidence overwhelming: only hurried talks between Vladimir Putin and Bill Clinton kept the world from a catastrophic nuclear war. Another reminder that one should never, EVER take what politicians say at face value.
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