The Atomic Cafe

1982 | USA | NR | 86 min.


State Theatre Fri, Aug 3, 2018 12:00 PM
Film Info
Section:Special Screenings
Release Year:1982
Runtime:86 min.
Production Country:USA
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Jayne Loader
Kevin Rafferty
Pierce Rafferty
Produced by:Jayne Loader
Kevin Rafferty
Pierce Rafferty
Screenwriter:Jayne Loader
Kevin Rafferty
Pierce Rafferty
Editing By:Jayne Loader
Kevin Rafferty


Ah, the 1950s: a simpler time, when children dressed up nicely for school and the nuclear family was king. But then FLASH. What’s that in the sky? An atomic explosion? A catchy tune begins and cartoon character Bert the Turtle waddles on screen to remind us all to “Duck and Cover.” The children duck under their school desks, the family of four dive underneath a picnic blanket, and magically they all survive the fallout in time for the baseball game. This clever and satirical documentary edited entirely from original material to recreate the fear and insanity of Cold War culture is as relevant now as when it was released amid the Reagan-era nuclear tensions of 1982. Skillfully weaving together military propaganda, historical footage, and pop culture iconography to give a startling and darkly humorous look back on the Atomic Age, it was the film and the filmmakers who taught our founder and president Michael Moore how to make a movie, showing him how a doc about a deadly serious subject could be funny. Reminding us how easily political media can lull us into a false sense of security, this new 4K restoration of the National Film Registry inductee is a must-see.