It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

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Last episode we discussed films about how a nuclear war would start, particularly the insane logic of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). In this episode we explore how American, British, and Australian filmmakers imagined the unimaginable - Armageddon and the literal and figurative fallout. We look at On the Beach (1959), The Day After (1983), and Threads (1984). We challenge the conventional wisdom that the West only seriously worried about nuclear after the Cuban Missile Crisis, provide some background on the history of anti-nuclear social movements, and compare how these three unforgettable films chose to depict nuclear destruction. How accurate were they? Did they make a difference? And, how many of us are still traumatized by seeing them?

Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here.

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