PBS – Cuban Missile Crisis: Three Men Go to War (2012)
English | Documentary | Size: 1.51 GB
Explore the inside story of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, when the world teetered on the brink of nuclear holocaust. In the first major feature documentary on the subject, the film brings to life the three central characters – Kennedy, Castro and Khrushchev – and explores how the world’s most powerful men fell into an abyss of their own making and outlines the courage and luck it took to climb out again.
On October 22, 1962, President John F. Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases on the island of Cuba, 90 miles off the shores of Florida. The events of the next 13 days brought the world closer to nuclear disaster than it had ever been before or since.
This is the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis, exploring how the earth teetered on the very brink of nuclear holocaust and the fate of the planet lay in the hands of three iconic characters – Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro and John F Kennedy.
A complete picture of the events of those 13 days has only recently emerged after countless declassified documents were released from Soviet, American and Cuban archives. Extraordinary revelations have come to light about Castro’s role and how, at the height of the crisis, he suggested the Soviets consider striking first, fearing that Cuba was doomed no matter what unfolded. Also emerging are remarkable details on a series of rogue incidents outside of Kennedy or Khrushchev’s control, each of which came within a hair’s breadth of triggering all-out conflict.
The film features revealing interviews with key witnesses and experts including Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet premier; Ted Sorensen, former member of the renowned Executive Committee of the U.S. National Security Council; former KGB and CIA operatives, and Captain Jerry Coffee, the reconnaissance pilot who made a split second decision to veer off course in Cuba and photograph a new type of nuclear weapon which could have annihilated invading American forces, the import of which was not realized for over 30 years.
As the anniversary of the Crisis approaches, nuclear brinksmanship is still high on the international agenda today and the events of October 1962 hold invaluable lessons for a generation too young to remember just how close we came to the end. Capturing the drama of those fateful days, this authored and cinematic film also focuses on the very strong human stories of the witnesses and participants in the Crisis.
Bringing to life the three central figures in the crisis the film explores the roles each played during these most dangerous of times, set against the human stories of ordinary men in the field, such as the first-ever interview with the Soviet soldier who shot down the U2 piloted by U.S. Air Force Major Rudolf Anderson on the worst day of the crisis. Featuring revealing interviews with key witnesses from inside the Kremlin, the White House and Cuba, along with revelations from recently declassified Top Secret documents, CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS – THREE MEN GO TO WAR was shot on location in Russia, Cuba and the U.S.
An edge-of-your seat tale of espionage and intrigue at the highest level, the film offers perspective on one of the most harrowing times in modern history.
Directed by Emer Reynolds and John Murray ; Crossing the Line Productions, LLC in association with Irish Film Board