Countdown to Zero [Blu-ray]
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"Countdown to Zero" does a fantastic job of setting up the situation first with the history of the bomb, the Manhatten project, and the horrors they caused. It reveals many shocking instances where due to human or machine error, we or other countries were mere minutes or even seconds away from firing the first missile. With all these nuclear weapons set to a hair trigger that can be fired within one minute of receiving the order, we live in a dangerous reality indeed.
The film also explores the ways to obtain highly refined uranium and how surprisingly easy it is if you know the right people. We assume that even with the materials, it would still be difficult to construct a usable bomb but that also proves false. A large team might be needed but bomb construction can be as easy as pie and the beauty of it is that it does not need to be perfect, it just needs to go boom! and the end result will be the same. It is far too easy to smuggle the uranium into the United States should anyone want to and even the best detection equipment makes mistakes. So basically there are three ways to get bombs: make them, steal them, or buy them and it is almost impossible to keep up with preventing all these ways so it would be much easier to eliminate them altogether.Read more ›
The review here that says nuclear deterrence works, so there's nothing to worry about, is just dead wrong -- as is the societal belief it reflects. One of the most frequent such "What me worry?" arguments points to the last 65 years without a world war and says "It ain't broke, so don't fix it!" Given that a child born today has an expected lifetime of 78 years and we have had a number of near misses in the last 65 years, that is weak evidence at best.
While the Cuban Missile Crisis is the best known near miss (and, for many people, the only one they know of), there have been many, many more. 1961 Berlin, 1983 Able Archer, the 1991 Soviet coup attempt, the 1993 Russian coup attempt, the 1995 Norwegian rocket false alarm (the one time the Russian nuclear launch codes were opened in front of a leader -- thank God Yeltsin was sober enough to make the right decision), and the 2008 Georgian war are just the ones that come to my mind as I write this. And, then there's the specter of nuclear terrorism.Read more ›
I ran across a short piece in Everything You Know Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Secrets and Lies which indicated that those whom we have labled as "terrorists" may not put a lot of value on life, and/or many not really comprehend the degree of damage they may inflict should they use such weapons. (Those are my words, not those of the article's author, or those of the volume's editor, Russ Kick.) It certainly gave me something to think about. Then I talked with an old friend who has for decades been a rival of nuclear energy. He suggested the waste from nuke plants could, if taken by an adversary, be used for acts we cannot yet imagine. That too gave me something to think about.
So I was compelled to see this film.
The film begins with a Kennedy speech, with President Kennedy at the UN on September 25, 1961 warning us of "the nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness." That speech was used as a visual technique throughout the film guiding us through the words, their applicability, even in some ways their irony. (Back in the Kennedy era, I don't know that we anticipated accident or madness, probably to our near demise!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An extremely well done documentary on nuclear proliferation--and scary. And the B-D disk is of first rate quality.Published 10 months ago by Lonnie D. Halouska
Very insightful and educational on the way that terrorists can possibly gain access to what I thought was a very guarded item.... UraniumPublished 13 months ago by Trederick T Sapp
omg ..everyone should watch this...Cant believe how many missile's are on the planet..UNBELIEVABLE...Published 20 months ago by 780 TANGO
Stunning account of what has transpired and rather freighting of what could happen. A must see. This really makes you think. Read morePublished on September 19, 2013 by Predator
This is one VERY frightening film about the nuclear genie and how hard it continues to be to get him back into the bottle. Read morePublished on June 29, 2013 by C. ANZIULEWICZ
The documentary highlights the challenges with nuclear weapons and how surprisingly it can be to obtain the necessary products to make one. Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by C&G