A compelling, but also very unsettling piece of research.
After a rather boring last few days, I finally got a bit of a shock after watching Lucy Walker's unsettling documentary, Countdown to Zero.
Using the quote "Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, etc." by John F. Kennedy as a structure of storytelling basis, Countdown to Zero explains in an essay-like form of the dangers of nuclear weapons even after decades since the end of the Cold War, and how these could be detonated, intentionally or unintentionally, and blow numbers of the human race off the earth.
Walker explains this in three categories: "Madness" "Accident" and "Miscalculation." Examining the back story of the invention of the A-Bomb by Oppenheimer, to more current events of near catastrophe, she exacts just the right tone that is necessary for the film. While the editing and pacing feels very slow, and a bit choppy at times, as well as slipping a little back into madness every so often, it's nothing if not a brilliant piece of research into this very subject.
It's a very eye opening movie, probably the best example of this, and the best scene of the film, is a hypothetical nuclear explosion taking place in New York City at Times Square after the New Year's Eve countdown, that features a brilliant sound mixture of audio narrations by many of Walker's sources by Michael Minkler and Tony Lamberti, and boy, is it one intense hypothetical.
It's a compelling piece of film making that asks many to help eliminate a major threat, and never becomes sleep inducing.
I give Countdown to Zero *** out of ****
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