THE HOLE IN THE GROUND (SHORT)


hole_in_the_ground_33 1962

CANDLES 7

DIRECTOR: David Cobham

The Hole In The Ground is a colour docudrama, the nearest that I’ve seen to the chilling 1984 docudrama, Threads, which focuses on the role and procedures of the Royal Observer Corps (British) in the event of a nuclear attack. It is a bit dry, stiff upper lipped and reeks of propaganda, focusing almost exclusively on tracking fallout and dismissing, or skirting over the devastation caused by a the various nuclear detonations.

It also talks a lot about the rates of fallout and radiation does in terms of hours rather than days, weeks or even years. It completely dismisses the idea that food source and farmland contamination and is one step removed from the preaching whole “Duck and cover” nonsense.

“It’s all in a days work…” It is frightening how frightened that the government was to feel the need to lie so blatantly about the impact.

People are apparently safe in their homes and can leave for short periods etc… Yeah, right!

The film should have said that the role of the Observer Corps was just that, to simply bear witness the destruction of the majority of the country and probably starve to death themselves before help would arrive, but instead, ops to show them as a sort of modern WW2 Bomber command, coordinating useful information regarding how to manage the contamination and keep going as if this was the 1960’s version of the blitz.

Well, we all know now that is far from the truth.

81XzzsuHpVL._SL1500_You can almost see the smug grins on their faces as they know the truth, yet pull out this patronising nonsense to pacify the fears of a nation which is never happy knowing all the facts.

This is available on the 2014 BFI Blu-ray edition of Val Guest’s The Day The Earth Caught Fire.

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