The War Game (1966 TV Movie)
- Summaries (5)
A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.
The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is fiction. It was intended as an hour-long program to air on BBC 1, but it was deemed too intense and violent to broadcast. It went to theatrical distribution as a feature film instead. Low-budget and shot on location, it strives for and achieves convincing and unflinching realism.
Filmed as a docudrama, this documentary seeks to inform the British public of the impact a nuclear attack would have on the UK. After confirming that few in the general public know about nuclear energy and its possible impacts the film moves on to suggest there would be forced relocation to sites outside of London, forced billeting and food rationing. The film then moves on to the real issue: that most of England would be destroyed (or at a minimum become unlivable) in a nuclear attack. This program was commissioned by the BBC but not shown on television as they thought it to be too frightening.
In this British documentary, a hypothetical Chinese invasion of South Vietnam triggers a new world war between East and West. In the town of Rochester, Kent, the anticipation of a nuclear attack leads to mass evacuations. When a stray missile actually explodes, the ensuing firestorm blinds all those who see it. It's not long before the fabric of society is ripped apart owing to radiation poisoning, a lack of infrastructure and rioting for food and other necessities.
Part interviews and quotations, part acting, this film simulates the aftermath of a large-scale nuclear attack near a rural area of England. It argues that citizens and Civil Defense authorities are poorly prepared for this eventuality, and describes possible physical, psychological and social damage in graphic detail.
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