Countdown to Zero

Lucy Walker

United States 2010, 90 min.


Spoken language: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Urdu, Persian

Subtitles: English

Festival year: 2014

According to this cinematically compelling shock doc we live under the nuclear sword of Damocles. Using a voice-over by actor Gary Oldman, a host of famous talking heads and powerful songs by Pearl Jam and Radiohead, this film conveys a discomforting message in a rather surprising way.


The cold war is over for some time now, yet the probability of an atomic bomb exploding somewhere in the world is increasing. Producing and trading nuclear weapons is easier than we think, according to the makers of Countdown to Zero. If they fall into the wrong hands, or if an accident or a simple error occurs, the consequences are incalculable.
The film retraces the history of the atomic bomb from its discovery until now. Using archive footage, pop songs and statements from personalities such as Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev and Jimmy Carter, this film offers an alarming vision of the future, yet avoiding the pitfall of becoming a pamphlet. Produced by the makers of An Unconvenient Truth and Participant Media. Director Lucy Walker previously made the documentary Waste Land, that won an award at IDFA 2010 and was screened at the 2011 Movies that Matter Festival.

Official website:



Reykjavik Productions | Lawrence Bender Productions

+1 3239514600

World sales:

The Works International

+44 2076121080