Reviews: Watkins, Peter

“Within this car, a family is burning alive.”

The War Game — Peter Watkins

There’s a cognitive deficit that shows up in my family on my father’s side frequently enough that I have wondered from time to time if it’s an example of nature or of nurture. It is an inability to tell if, when an opinion on a matter is solicited, the person or organization asking is actually only interested in a positive answer1. I myself am entirely free of this deficit but I know it when I see it in others. Peter Watkins seems to have at least a touch of it because I would wager that at no point did BBC say to him “please produce a short piece on the subject of nuclear war for The Wednesday Play that both the BBC and the government will conclude is too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting,” and yet that is exactly what he did.

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