“You know what Einstein said about World War III? He said he didn’t know how they were gonna fight World War III, but he knew how they would fight World War IV: With sticks and stones.”
By 1983, the cinema of nuclear obliteration was already well-established; Japan’s HIROSHIMA (which we hope you saw at Japan Society earlier this year!) set the bar decades earlier, while more recent films such as THREADS and THE WAR GAME provided dark views into the reality of surviving even the most limited nuclear attack.
A certain American made for TV movie became the nexus for water-cooler panic, playground death meditations and a million articles in a million hometown papers. That movie was two hours long, cut down from a four-hour workprint. We have taken that workprint, with missing music, SCENE MISSING interstitials and footage never seen on television, plus the film edited into this film (1979’s FIRST STRIKE), and edited it to remove the least important part of this film: the human actors. Scored by ambient composer April Larson, we hope this take on Cold War panic warms your heart. And you flesh, and your hair, and your eyes.