After the Day After: a Discussion Following a Screening of “The Day After”

By Montréal for a World BEYOND War , August 6, 2022

“The Day After” is a U.S. post-apocalyptic film that first aired on November 20, 1983, on the ABC television network. A record-setting 100 million people watched it in the U.S. – and 200 million on Russian TV during its initial broadcast.

The film postulates a fictional war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact countries over Germany that rapidly escalates into a full-scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. The action focuses on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, and of several family farms near nuclear missile silos.

Then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan watched the film more than a month before its screening on Columbus Day, October 10, 1983. He wrote in his diary that the film was “very effective and left me greatly depressed,” and that it changed his mind on the prevailing policy on a “nuclear war.”

Maybe this film can still change hearts and minds!

We watched the film. Then we had the presentations and a question-and-answer period that are contained in this video — with our experts, Vicki Elson of NuclearBan.US and Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

2 Responses

  1. Here are links I added to the chat while Vicki Elson was speaking:
    *Let your representative know you want him or her to cosponsor HR=2850 – here’s an online letter you can modify and send: https://bit.ly/prop1petition
    * Let your Senators & President know that you want them to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons at https://bit.ly/wilpfus-bantreatypetition
    * Here’s the text of HR-2850 – https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2850/text
    * Here are the current cosponsors of HR-2850 – https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2850/cosponsors

    Here is Vicki Elson’s website: https://www.nuclearban.us/

    And here is Gordon Edwards’ website: http://www.ccnr.org

  2. A very impressive film, though dated. I have lived long enough to remember Hiroshima, though I never actually witnessed it. I have taken to heart various nuclear reactors that have failed, and their results. The film gives no recourse to the people affected. They are destroyed by the radiation if not by the blast. In this sense, the film is negative, and gives a feeling of hopelessness. It could be followed by suggestions of how to prevent this from happening. It will definitely change the minds of people willing to use nuclear bombs. There will also be a section of people who refuse to watch because it scares them and makes them feel bad. Yet, it promotes the truth of what will happen if we as humankind do not ban nuclear bombs (or even biologic warfare, which COVID was a preparation for) . Ultimately, what we need to ban is war.

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