The product of five years’ worth of production and three directors’ hard work, The Atomic Cafe is regarded as one of the documentary format’s most influential entries. A young Michael Moore, for example, was so impressed by the film that he sought advice from one of its directors, Kevin Rafferty. Unlike most of the films on our list, it’s actually quite funny, in a black comedy sort of way. Archival footage shows the dawn of nuclear warfare and how people coped with the paranoia back in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. It’s tough not to laugh at the old tutorial videos shown in schools (that The Atomic Cafe uses for humor); in case of an atomic strike, children were advised to simply duck. Why? Because, according to the brain surgeons behind those ridiculous videos, one is safer from nuclear hell if he or she is lower to the ground. Stupid is as stupid does.

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