“Threads” arrived in America a few months after “The Day After”. That 1983 to 1984 stretch of American mainstream fiction was really trying for something. That being the push to make everyone want to jump out of a window. Nuclear war was never considered to be light fare, but there’s a strong split between how America and the United Kingdom handled the same material. In America, Meyer directed The Day After roughly a year after he filmed Wrath of Khan. The push for sentimentality and emotional entrapment in its characters plays heavy.

Threads starts you off on a tale of a teen couple finding out what to do about an unexpected pregnancy. After that, their country gets annihilated in a nuclear attack. Over the next few days, weeks, months and years, audiences get to see a society collapse. Watching people break apart, defy the government and just look for any sense of safety is brutal. Then, you get to see what happens when the sun destroys your eyes and food is sparse. Is it depression porn? Kinda, but it’s also important.

Dramatic representations of real threats seem to win over people more than repeated lectures and text. A lack of imagination forces an education to be hammered into their hearts and eyes. It’s one thing to hear that nuclear war is bad. It’s another to see how radiation destroys life. I’d like to think that mutually assured destruction still weighs heavy on everyone’s minds. But, I know better. We need another Threads.


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