I had never seen this movie until just a few days ago, and to say it blew me away would be both a bad pun and the truth.
First off, this is NOT an entertainment film. It's in a genre I call the "what if" genre. It is disturbing, depressing, and thought provoking.
The story revolves around a nuclear war and the effects it has on the town of Sheffield, England. The events leading up to the holocaust are well documented and a young couple are preparing for a life together with a new baby amidst all the background chaos.
Once the bombs drop all is shot to hell as millions are killed and the survivors, if you can call them that, are left with a world that will never be the same.
There are images in this film that are shocking such as men, women and children being burned to death, animals slowly dying, people suffering from the ills of radiation poisoning and much, much more.
Since this is presented as a "docu-drama" we are informed by a narrator and on screen typing that there are not enough people to clean up all the dead bodies, there isn't enough gas to use bulldozers to clean things up, the old and very young will starve because they are not strong enough to work and many other disturbing facts.
The viewer also sees that no matter how much the local government gets ready for impending disaster, they simply cannot cope when it actually hits. During the course of the film we see humanity reduced to eating dead animals raw, dead rats and killing each other over a small scrap of bread, and as nuclear winter sets in it gets even harder to survive.
The film spans 13 years after the disaster and if you think things would be any better after that time, this movie will set you right. We find things are better compared to when the bomb actually fell, but mankind has become a bunch of grunting half wits, and that isn't the worst of it, but I won't give it away.
I have seen a LOT of movies in my life and only a handful has really bothered me. This is one of that handful. Once seen, this isn't easily forgotten, and well it shouldn't be. Director Mick Jackson did a lot of research before making this film and it shows. I would compare this to the disturbing 1965 film "The War Game" which was also made by the BBC just like this film, but unlike "The War Game" it wasn't banned.
When first aired it shocked England and then made it's way to the USA where is became the most watched basic cable movie in history. Films like this should be shown in schools and be required viewing everywhere else.I have never believed that a nuclear war will occur because all of the tyrants in power don't want to lose that power, but somehow there is always a little doubt in my mind.
I can't recommend this enough. Disturbing, nightmarish and unforgettable.