Essay on The Atomic Cafe

823 WordsAug 13, 20144 Pages
The Atomic Cafe The Atomic Cafe is a 1982 documentary film compiled of clips from government propaganda, training films, news stories, advertisements and other media from the 1940’s through the 1950’s. Many films were prepared by the U.S. government either for the military or for its citizens to view. The form of Atomic Cafe was unique for documentaries. It was produced entirely of different film sources edited together, without narration. The film made its points solely through the selection and order of the clips included in the documentary. The purpose of the film was to show the American people of the 1980’s exactly how the government distributed propaganda and deceived the American citizens of the 1950’s. Atomic Cafe is a…show more content…
The government knew that such actions and the “Duck and Cover” methods recommended in schools would, in fact, provide absolutely no protection against exposure to fallout. The government also promoted building a fallout shelter, stocked with supplies of canned goods, as a way to survive atomic war. This was only a partial truth, since a shelter could protect from radiation, but not from fire storms. The filmmakers’ main ideas are that the government misled and lied to the people of the U.S. so that they would believe that the atomic bomb would have no effect on their health and security, that we should question if the government should have lied to the American people, and to make us question whether or not the citizens of the U.S. would continue to be as naive as the people of the 1950’s. I do mostly agree with the filmmakers’ thesis. It is obvious that the government was lying and misleading the people of the U.S. regarding the ability to survive nuclear war. I don’t think that it was entirely right that the government lied to the U.S. people. I don’t believe it was the government’s place or choice to withhold such important information. Citizens have a right to know, but in cases, it's better for them to not know to prevent riots and episodes of mass hysteria. If the citizens had known all the facts about the horrible consequences of a nuclear war, there might have been more opposition to the continuing
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