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About Fallout (1955)

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Published on May 28, 2006

Like many of these Cold War relics, this film is meant to reassure the viewer that the nuclear family is strong enough to survive a nuclear war, and that fallout isn't really that dangerous if you wait two weeks in your shelter before dealing with it. I wonder if these films did not serve a twofold purpose: to encourage the populace to remain calm in the face of what we now know to be a potentially far more dangerous situation, and to reassure us that our own use of nuclear weapons on a certain other country was not that horrible. I find the narrator's tone particularly unsettling here. In the calm tones of science and authority, he tells us that the thing that may kill us is our friend, like the doctor in the Milgrim Experiment that says it's okay to increase the voltage on the test subject when in fact, we're frying the poor guy to death.

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