Countdown to Zero (PG)

Film

Documentaries

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jun 21 2011

Like 2006’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, which saw Al Gore tackling global warming, this is one of those heavyweight Hollywood ‘issue’ docs that comes loaded with a relatively big budget and a line-up of talking heads more powerful than a meeting of the Bilderberg Group. The issue is nuclear weaponry and the plea is that we reawaken a debate and realise the growing danger of the atomic bomb being detonated by terrorists, governments or accident and act by calling for a total ban on such arms. The zero of the title nods to either abolition or an ominous ticking clock, depending on your optimism.

The director is Lucy Walker, a British filmmaker nominated for an Oscar this year for ‘Wasteland’, a film about a Brazilian artist returning to his roots. Walker is an efficient, intelligent director, so far without a strong signature style, but rigorous and dependable, nonetheless. Here, she brings brio and lucidity to a broad, difficult subject. Her interviews are rock-solid – Gorbachev, Blair, Carter and more – but ‘Countdown to Zero’ has visual nous too, and she turns words into images by deconstructing a JFK speech and using phrases from it as signposts. There’s a hint of scaremongering in some of the early passages on terrorist threats, but mostly that’s allayed by a chilling Cold War section which shows how closely the world flirted with disaster, and in the end Walker’s film does justice to JFK’s plea that ‘weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us’.
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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Fri Jun 24, 2011

Duration:

89 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Lucy Walker

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Anna

This is a CRUCIAL film - while government is cutting on education and NHS, they are increasing their spend on nuclear weapons!

Anna

This is a CRUCIAL film - while government is cutting on education and NHS, they are increasing their spend on nuclear weapons!