This week, I’ve been thinking about Threads a lot. It’s a film that I watched on YouTube, having seen some clips of it on a BBC documentary. I’m pretty easily scared, and this is the scariest film I’ve ever seen. It shows you, in slow and excruciating detail, just how scary real life can and will get in the aftermath of a thermonuclear conflict. There will be no rescuers saving the day. There will be no winner. There will be no afterwards.
I have no idea if the story about Ronald Reagan is true, namely that having seen Threads he reassessed nuclear policy. What’s really scary right now is knowing that the current president probably wouldn’t be swayed at all by watching it. We know he’s incurious and has shown no greater inclination towards curiosity, so I’m probably correct in my thinking that watching Threads won’t counteract his fire and fury approach to nuclear policy.
Threads is scary because it presents nuclear war as people will experience it. There is nothing scarier than knowing what you’re watching could be real. The people who suffer in Threads are mothers, fathers, children, delivery people, civil servants – all ‘normal’ people, doing ‘normal’ things. They are us. They are the North Koreans.
Last night we had a date night. We went to see Room and then ate in one of our favourite sushi places. On the spur of the moment we went to an earlier viewing of the film, meaning dinner was later. This was not the best choice. What was once a tiny, charming and efficient place to eat seems have exploded in popularity. While I’m always glad to see a favourite spot doing well, the service was not the best last night. The food was delicious, as always, and we’ve made a resolution not to leave things to chance on a Saturday night again, even in the midst of January. We’ll be back though, this time with a reservation, possibly for a different time and day of the week than 8pm on a Saturday.
Room was thought provoking. I read the book some years ago and it was unsettling and uplifting. Having read some reviews of the film (I can’t remember the book’s reviews at all) I went to see it in a slightly different light from how I approached the book. It makes one think about motherhood, parenting, identity and the barriers, physical and mental, that we have imposed on us and how, when overcome, those barriers can sometimes feel more welcome than we first thought. It also made me appreciate all the space we have in our home, because the claustrophobia of the first half of the film stays with you after the credits have rolled.