Disco and Atomic War

April 10, 2009

A different history of the Cold War: how Estonians under Soviet tyranny began to feel the breeze of freedom when a group of anonymous dreamers successfully used improbable methods to capture the Finnish television signal, a window into Western popular culture, brave but harmless warriors who helped change the fate of an entire nation.

Camp Century

January 8, 2020

How in 1959, during the heat of the Cold War, the government of the United States decided to create a secret military base located in the far north of Greenland: Camp Century, almost a real town with roads and houses, a nuclear plant to provide power… and silos to house missiles aimed at the Soviet Union.

A Is for Atom

January 1, 1953

General Electric sponsors this explanation of atomic energy, detailing some of its uses besides the bomb. Using animation and an off-screen narrator, the film describes the atom, elements and isotopes, the discovery of transmutation, experiments in artificial transmutation, and the reasons for the power of nuclear fission. The film argues that now, besides war, the atomic age holds promise for energy, farming, medicine, and research. The promise of the atomic age will depend on human wisdom.

My Favorite War

September 25, 2020

Ilze Burkovska, a little girl who is obsessed with stories of World War II and will be a filmmaker in a distant future, lives in Latvia under the totalitarian boot of the Soviets and the ominous shadow of the many menaces and horrors of the Cold War.

The Shanghai Story

September 1, 1954

Shanghai, China. The last expatriate Westerners still living in the city are imprisoned in a hotel by the communist authorities in order to find the spy hiding among them.

Sword-and-Sandal

April 14, 2019

The silent cinema had already created colossal movies based on ancient civilizations, but it is in the 1950s when peplums reach their apogee in Hollywood. Then, peplums take root at Cinecittà studios, in Rome, where cheap cinema is produced with bodybuilders as heroes. The genre decays in the late 1960s, but rises again decades later, when a modern classic is released in 2000.

I Invite You to My Execution

October 30, 2019

As Russian writer Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) thinks it is impossible that his novel Doctor Zhivago is published in the Soviet Union, because it supposedly shows a critical view of the October Revolution, he decides to smuggle several copies of the manuscript out of the country. It is first published in 1957 in Italia; the author receives the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958, which has consequences.

Rich Hall's Red Menace

November 5, 2019

2019 marks the 30th year since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. Rich Hall examines the relationship between the West and the USSR in his inimitable fashion.

Both a visit to a very peculiar exhibition at the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany, as well as an unprejudiced look at the artistic depiction of violence throughout history and the ways in which that depiction has been gendered.

The Day Called X

December 8, 1957

Portentously portrays the evacuation of Portland, Oregon, when threatened by a nuclear attack on its state-of-the-art civil defense system.

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