Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Atomic Cafe is a documentary about the start of the Atomic age beginning after world war two. The movie features many film reels of nuclear weapons tests, propaganda, interviews, and detailed footage of their physical and mental impact on people and cities. The film has a unique brand of humor considering it's basically all about death. While certainly not downplaying the destructive capability of nuclear weapons, it does spend a lot of time mocking the propaganda and preventative measures used by civilians during that time. One scene will show a cartoon used to show kids how to hide under their desks in the event of an attack, and then the next scene will show a prop village being completely leveled by a nuke test. It seems like the documentary meant to show how misinformed many people were in the early days of the nuclear age. No scene is more in favor of this than the footage of one test where dozens of troops were told to charge into the blast zone right after a test. They were told the radiation was not that big of an issue, but many of them died as a direct result of that radiation years later. Other scenes showed US commanders convincing natives of South Pacific islands to relocate to a new island so they can test nukes on that one. They assumed that the natives would be happy to move since they are a nomadic people. The film does show how the nuclear weapons helped win world war two and save thousands of lives, but the majority of it is meant to show people that nuclear weapons are a threat to the world and not at all a step in the right direction for humanity.