Countdown To Zero

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The shadow of nuclear annihilation is ever present in Lucy Walker's examination of proliferation, terrorism and deterrence.


On the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s famous anti-proliferation speech, Lucy Walker’s follow-up to her Academy Award-nominated documentary Waste Land brings the nuclear debate into the 21st century, marshalling an impressive array of talking heads and archive footage to reignite an issue which, despite sabre-rattling in Iran and North Korea, and the recent tragedy in Japan, hasn’t been a ‘hot button’ topic since the ’80s. Here, Walker’s customary aversion to voiceover narration works against her, giving the whole enterprise a distracted, unfocused feel. With another month or two in the edit suite, this could have been genuinely incendiary: An Inconvenient Truth for the anti-nuclear lobby.

Walker was Oscar nominated for Waste Land this year, and while this occasionally unfocused doc doesn't hit those heights, it's still a valuable and scary film that should be seen.