Threads (1984)

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Everyone has their favorite decade, for me its the 80's.
  I spent most of the decade as a teenager which probably explains why it has had such an impact on me.
To paraphrase Charles Dickens it was the best of times and it was the worst of times.
At its best, it was the decade that gave us Atari, Apple computers, PCs, John Hughes films and mobile phones.
  Yes, you needed a suitcase size battery and the phone was as big as a breeze block, but it was a start.
  The music could be fantastic with the likes of Depeche Mode, Men without hats, Flock of Seagulls and The Cure to name but a few.
It was the decade of transformers, Star wars figures, Rubics Cube and Dungeons & Dragons, which made nerds of an entire generation.
  But it could also be crap.
  Ireland was in recession and almost bankrupt, nothing new there! Emigration and the dole were actually career options, The 'troubles' in the north were in full swing, Stock Aiken and Waterman ruled the airwaves, There were only 6 TV channels (if you were lucky!) and they shut down at midnight, the internet was only a feature on 'Tomorrows World' alongside flying cars and robot servants, and then there was the small matter of imminent nuclear annihilation.
'Threads' was first broadcast in 1984 by the BBC and it caused a sensation, there had never been anything like it before and hopefully there will be nothing like it again.
  The story begins with a young couple, an unplanned pregnancy and their plans for the future set in the bleak industrial city of Sheffield.
  From the beginning we hear the ominous warning signs of a world in turmoil, hinted at in radio bulletins and news broadcasts which provide background to the characters seemingly hum drum lives.
  Bulletins and broadcasts which are all to familiar to anyone who remembers the decade, so familiar they were easy to ignore.
  The availability of food and shelter, light and heat, medicine, good governance, law enforcement and morals are the 'threads' that bind civilized society.
  When the bombs drop these 'threads' are severed, gone, never to return, not in a form we would recognize at least.
  It is the destruction of these 'threads' and the impact on the survivors which the film explores in chilling and horribly realistic detail.
  The breakdown of society is charted in simple but disturbing scenes, the horror is in the speed of the collapse; The valiant but ultimately futile attempts of the father to build a shelter from doors and mattresses because that's what it said to do in his government handout; The granny as she succumbs to radiation sickness; The aimless wandering in the aftermath looking for food and shelter; and the pathetic attempts of the local authorities to maintain control.
  This film is a bleak, harrowing, and disturbing look at the aftermath of a nuclear attack.
  The horror made all the more plausible because we know how real the threat is.
We may feel that we now live in safer times and the threat has receded, the doomsday clock may have been put back a few minutes but its still ticking!
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