Guest Review By David Malsch/CopperDocs
Photo Courtesy Magnolia Pictures
A couple of nights ago I was ripped out of a sound sleep at four in the morning from a savage and brutal nightmare that is still haunting me to this day.
It came out of nowhere – meaning the dream and it’s subject matter. I haven’t been able to remember my dreams much lately but this one felt a little too real for it’s own good. In my dream I was back in my hometown on my old street I grew up on where I literally bumped into a group of friends I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. We decided to go out for the night and we crammed ourselves into a small car and off we went. Not even five minutes into the ride there is a blinding flash of white light in the distance – a brief moment of stillness and quiet and then all hell breaks lose in slow motion moving towards us… I’m awake – I am officially wide awake at this point.
Where this dream came from I don’t know. I haven’t seen any disaster movies recently or anything like it but it was clearly a nuclear attack that fueled my dream. I will admit that I was planning on seeing the new film Countdown to Zero this week but I was too nonchalant to feel responsible for it. I just planned on seeing it – I wasn’t preparing myself to see it. I’m a film critic – I watch movies every day.
Countdown to Zero is a documentary about nuclear war in the 21st century. It is a film that will cause you nightmares long after you see it – not necessarily days before. It is a history lesson on how we became a nuclear world and what could happen in the very near future if we don’t start to become a non-nuclear one. It is a smart well made film that every human being should see because the more we know about this subject the better off we’ll be in the future. Just like in my dream – one minute you’re alive and kicking and then the next you are nothing but ash.
There are interviews with scientists and scholars. Ex-Presidents and Prime Ministers. It is a film that has it’s bases covered and is intent on stirring up it’s audience. We are bombarded everyday with issues like gays in the military, tax cuts for the rich and melting polar ice caps. These things mean shit compared to a nuclear holocaust brought on by unstable leaders or ruthless terrorists. What we need is global leadership sooner rather than later.
That is what’s great about documentaries – the urgency and reality of their subject matter. Trust me, I took more away from this film than anything 2012 had to offer and I love Cusack. I know it’s a bummer film compared to the new Drew Barrymore one but if we don’t get our act together as a planet – as a global community it’ll be an even bigger bummer down the road. Trust me – I was just on that road two nights ago. I know it was only a dream but we really gotta wake up and make things right.
Countdown to Zero is too important a film to ignore and one of the best documentaries of the year thus far. This ain’t about politics – this is about humanity and holding onto to it for dear life.