Countdown to Zero (2010) Documentary Film Review

Countdown to Zero
Director: Lucy Walker
USA, 2010

Countdown to Zero shakes off all the dirt, rumors, myths, and outright lies when it comes to the danger of nuclear terrorism. Using John F. Kennedy’s famous quote comparing nuclear weapons to the hanging sword of Damocles as a framework, director Lucy Walker’s documentary sheds light on how relatively simple it is to manufacture a nuclear weapon. The engineering is ancient technology, apparent to any scientist with a slight knowledge of ballistics. The materials are poorly guarded and easily smuggled to the black market. Even the weapons themselves are bought and sold without much hassle.

The repeated theme that we are helpless when it comes to the threat of nuclear assault can be very distressing, but the alternative of ignorance is not an option. Coupled with some amazing interviews with Gorbachev, Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter, Robert McNamara, and even the uranium smugglers themselves, Countdown to Zero creates a compelling argument that the only truly nuclear-safe world is a nuclear-free one.


Countdown to Zero is being screened at the Seattle International Film Festival 2010 at the following times:

June 2 – Pacific Place Cinema 7:00 PM
June 3 – SIFF Cinema 9:15 PM

Director Lucy Walker is scheduled to attend these screenings.

Written by
Allen Huang

Allen is a writer/organizer/manager based in Taipei, Taiwan. You can read his work on Redefine and Asian Junkie. You can follow him on twitter at @therealhojo.

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Written by Allen Huang
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