The War Game
Classic fake documentary from 1965 in which Peter Watkins spins out a fictitious but terrifying ‘what if’ scenario: what if a Russian atomic bomb were dropped on the southeast of England? What exactly would the consequences be? Watkins bases this on sound sources, including government documents and academic research into the consequences of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To depict even more accurately the effect of a nuclear war on the man in the street, Watkins used non-professional actors.
The War Game, deliberately filmed as a dynamic news report, stirred up great controversy. The British government, shown as incompetent in the film, put the BBC - which commissioned the film from Watkins - under pressure to not broadcast the film; it then indeed spent twenty years on the shelf. A limited cinema release was permitted, however, and in 1967 The War Game even won an Oscar for ‘Best Documentary’, after which the film became an influential part of the ban-the-bomb movement.