Last night I went out to see The War Game (watch here), a docu-drama from 1965 about the aftermath of a nuclear attack in Britain. It is still a great piece of film making and must have been highly innovative for its time. Alex Cox reviews it and its significance. I've never seen it before and it definitely still packs and intellectual and emotional punch... Based in Kent, Peter Watkins' drama is based on what actual happened after bombings in cities like Dresden and Hiroshima. Commissioned by the BBC, the corporation and the government of the day - interestingly the Labour government of Harold Wilson - judged the film too horrifying to screen (in their own status quo serving terms, they were surely right!). The War Game is nothing if not disturbing. Despite effectively being banned the film won the 1966 Academy Award for best documentary. Near the end, the film notes the virtual silence in the press, official publications and on TV about nuclear weapons and especially the effects of their use. Evoking hope, the narrator asks: 'But is there a real hope to be found in this silence?' It struck me that the silence today is even more profoundly deafening. I recalled my own memory of the distribution of the often evoked and much mocked 'Protect and Survive' official pamphlet from 1980... And I wondered how deep our contemporary silence actually was. From memory, I conjured the archaic sounding term 'civil defence' and Googled it. From what I read, it seems that we (led - of rather not led - by government) really do have out heads in sand about what to do in the event of a nuclear attack - the aftermath is not unimaginable, The War Game renders it all too imaginable. Perhaps there is no policy beyond burn the bodies that makes any sense... Thanks - I think - to Ceredigion Stop the War group for screening the film. Our project to publish Nuclear Refrain, arrange an evening of MAD cabaret, fold peace cranes and make an action and exhibition etc seems more urgent now, if only to whisper into the silence of connivance with horror.
I have a new-old phone with a rubbish camera because I fell in the sea with my other one. Still, these cranes brightened my morning-after The war Game mood.
I am he as you are he as you are me, and we are all together
What's going on?
A story, essay, lyric or rhyme with no reason almost every day...