CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS: THREE MEN GO TO WAR
Friendly Rating: Older elementary and up
Safety Rating: Pretty safe, several scenes of mushroom clouds and military equipment
Quality Rating: An excellent assessment of the event from all kinds of different perspectives
Film airs tonight on PBS, check your local listings.
The best thing about Cuban Missile Crisis is the wide range of perspectives provided. Some are historians, many are people who either participated or remember the crisis that began 50 years ago this week, when the Soviet government tried to install nuclear warheads aimed at the U.S. on Cuba.
It was fun talking to my father-in-law about it, because he was sent to wire up nuclear warheads in Great Falls, Montana that week. Me and my family, we were living in Kansas City, Kansas at the time, but we had just moved there from Great Falls. But Dad said that his work was on the radar and the air defense systems, not the missiles. Still, he doesn’t remember the crisis as being all that scary.
That’s probably because most of America didn’t know just how close we came to a nuclear war with the former Soviet Union. We knew it was getting tense and we knew about the missiles. Some folks did panic. But up until a few years ago, when Communism fell and the USSR went back to being Russia, and all those documents were de-classified, we had no idea how tight things were.
The doc is engaging and moves very well, and I think it’s important to look at so that we don’t end up in another Cold War situation. There are still too many nuclear weapons on the planet and we need to find a way to get rid of them – or at least, find a way to ease tensions with our enemies as much as possible, because if there is one lesson to be gotten from this film, it is how easily we can get to the brink, if not over.