Countdown to Zero
Time Out says
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’.