The U.S. government wants you to keep your house tidy and clean. If you don’t, it’ll get blown up and burned to a cinder by an atomic bomb blast. Seriously. This is the entire message of this ridiculous 1954 U.S. government educational film about the effects of a nuclear blast. It seems obvious to me that if you were working for the U.S. government in the fifties you were just a drooling simpleton. This film actually goes from mind-boggling insanity to postmodern masterpiece if you squint at it in the right way. It represents nearly everything you need to know about the 20th century in America.
This is a five-part documentary by British filmmaker Adam Curtis about the rise of nuclear energy in the United States. These sections make up A is for Atom which is a 1-hour segment of a much longer science and politics television series called Pandora’s Box. It chronicles the development of the nuclear power industry and shows clearly how little was ever understood about what would happen or what should be done during a nuclear accident.
Parts 2 – 5 after the jump
In the 1950s, while the US army was intentionally blasting soldiers with radiation in order to study them as they melted and died, this film was made to minimize public worry about nuclear radiation. Governments always lie about nuclear radiation. They never tell the truth. So, as President Obama stands before the nation assuring us that no dangerous radiation will reach our shores from the sudden nuclear Armageddon of Japan, watch this reassuring little film and wonder.