Netflix is now streaming a film about nuclear weapons that puts you inside humanity’s worst nightmare via Business Insider

  • Netflix is now streaming an experimental documentary film about nuclear weapons.
  • “The Bomb” debuted in April 2016 at the Tribeca Film Festival as an immersive experience with 30-foot-tall screens and live music.
  • The filmmakers hope their movie inspires viewers to speak up about the existential threat of nuclear weapons.


Aging weapons systems, evolving terrorist threats, and a worryingly hackable digital infrastructure make the danger perhaps even greater today. That’s the message that the makers of “The Bomb” — an ambitious, experimental documentary that Netflix began streaming on August 1 — have tried to make breathtakingly real.

“Nine countries have 15,000 nuclear weapons. That’s an existential threat to mankind,” said filmmaker Eric Schlosser.

Schlosser is the author of “Command and Control,” an investigation into nuclear weapons accidents that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. To write the book, he spent more than six years steeped in declassified government materials and interviewed military experts, scientists, and “broken arrow” eyewitnesses.

“The Bomb” is an unnarrated, non-linear film that riffs on the major themes in Schlosser’s book. It leans heavily on archival nuclear weapons footage, roughly a third of which the public had never seen before the movie came out. Cold War-era documents and blueprints are also brought to life with eye-catching animations, and everything is synced to a trippy electro-rock musical score by The Acid.


Consider me biased — I’m a friend of Keshari’s, and I believe zero nuclear weapons on Earth is the safest number — but “The Bomb” is not your standard, long-winded, made-for-TV-with-commercial-breaks documentary about nuclear weapons.

Roughly 30% of the movie is new footage from declassified films that the public has never seen.


The US and Russia together harbor roughly 90% of the world’s supply of more than 14,900 nuclear weapons, and they’re maintained under tight systems of control. The US is also spending $1 trillion to upgrade its devices. Nuclear terrorism continues to be a major point of concern, too.

But the central thesis of “The Bomb” — one Schlosser made strongly in “Command and Control” as well — is that mortifying accidents have happened and will happen again, because people are human, and nuclear weapons aren’t foolproof.


“A nuclear war anywhere in the world would affect everyone in the world. These weapons pose an existential threat. The widespread lack of knowledge about them, the lack of public debate about them, makes the danger even worse,” it reads. “Our silence is a form of consent.”

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