Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Countdown to Zero
At the tender age of twenty one I, like most of those around me, was contemplating imminent death. We were helpless to prevent it, the decisions would be taken many thousands of miles away. It was the time of the Cuba Crisis, the most public cold war confrontation between the nuclear armed governments of Russia and the USA. Either one side gave way - and they were showing precious little sign of it - or global nuclear war would be triggered. The unthinkable horror that would end our civilisation was never more thought about.
Nearly half a century later, nuclear weapons remain, in quantity, and have spread much wider across the globe. The 'MAD' dogma that Mutually Assured Destruction ensures that war is not an option has been abandoned; first strikes and tactical use of nuclear weapons are part of military language. There have been a number of 'near misses'; it doesn't need an international crisis to provoke a launch, just an 'accident, miscalculation, or madness' as JFK put it.
But in 2011, the risk of nuclear war gets little public attention. For most of the UK population, Hiroshima is history, nothing more.
All the more reason to take a look at 'Countdown to Zero', a new film being premiered across the UK on Tuesday June 21st. In Bristol, it's at the Watershed, at the Chessels Community Cinema in Southville, and at CoExist in Hamilton House, Stokes Croft