THE WAR GAME (Peter Watkins, 1966, UK) "Oh, where are you coming from, soldier, gaunt soldier, With weapons beyond any reach of my mind, With weapons so deadly the world must grow older And die in its tracks, if it does not turn kind?" -Stephen Vincent Benet.
Peter Watkins faux-documentary on the effects of a limited nuclear strike on Britian is violently realistic and the unflinching camera-eye peers deeply into the black and damaged souls of the "survivors". This may be the precursor to Reality television as Watkins delivers a voyeristic narrative with the camer's intimate and ubiquitous presence. The people are interviewed amid the rubble and destruction, sometimes as the events are still unfolding! This film openly criticizes the governments strategy in response to a real nuclear war and shows the frightening and nightmarish Hell that awaits the human race: made in 1965 but relevant in 2008. (A)