Article posted on: 2022-10-20 19:57
Last edited on: 2022-10-20 19:57
Written by: Sylvain Gauthier

Threads (1984)


Threads is a British drama film directed by Mick Jackson that came out in 1984, during the Cold War.

It follows the fate of two lower middle class families living in Sheffield, before, during and after an hypothetical escalation that leads to a nuclear exchange between the USSR and NATO.

The depiction of the aftermath, spanning from immediate to a few decades later, is so excruciatingly raw, grim and hopeless that it leaves the spectator wondering who exactly is the lucky fellow between the one instantly vaporized or the one who “survives”, only to watch his third-degree-burnt wife vomit blood because of radiation sickness.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like it is trying to be over-dramatic or exaggerated for the purpose of screenplay. The fallouts from the nuclear conflict are thoroughly researched and their consequences are shown in a brutal yet hauntingly realistic manner. The Hollywoodian codes are nowhere to be found, there is no hero, no happy ending, no feel-good or even remotely hopeful conclusion.

Even more baffling is how spot-on and horrifyingly familiar the events are narrated which led to the escalation and nuclear apocalypse, and that is of course the point of this article as I have no intention to start a regular movie review series here for the sake of sharing good films.

Everything starts with a “convoy” of USSR tanks launched into Iran and gradually builds up from there in a way that should be all too familiar to the reader, should Iran be swapped with another country I won’t mention, which has been in a low intensity war with Russia since 2014 but curiously only made the news earlier this year.

The 2022 spectator will be stunned to find the exact same type of “news” “coverage” of the escalation, the average NPCs going from a blissful carelessness to being stuck to their TV yelling “take that, Tikhonov” and suggesting those silly anti-war, anti-escalation hippies to “go back to Russia” while a military parade blasts some joyful music in the background (you’re here) to having increasingly worrying survival ads on their TV (oh wait, if you live in NYC you’re actually already here) and before they know it they are scavenging rats in a highly radioactive hellscape and watch their loved one literally melt from their radiation burns.

Without getting too political, I would like to know how a country that made such a haunting movie can now have a Prime Minister telling the world with a straight face that she’s “happy to push the button”.

And I will close this article with this hilarious boomer moment found in an Imdb comment that, to put it mildly, didn’t age very well:


“I mean yes our generation had 3 times the purchasing power you have, clean air, clean food, jobs and industry, but we had a nuclear war looming ahead! So scary! You snowflake millenials have it better trust me!”