The movie depicts the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis when humanity has been one pace away from a nuclear war. The movie makes a depressive impression on a viewer. Nowadays, it is rather difficult to imagine the feelings of people who have realized the consequences of the possible war.
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This documental film just represents in chronological order the events of those days with the impressions of participants who have been directly involved in this crisis resolution. It represents the positions of both sides – the USA and the Soviet Union, trying to remain neutral. For instance, one of the historians being interviewed stated that from the point of view of international law, the Soviet missiles were deployed legally in Cuba. At the same time, it was understood that such a situation was very dangerous for the USA.
From the very beginning of this movie, a viewer feels an atmosphere of tension at that time. Sometimes, it is difficult to imagine the possible consequences of this conflict. If the leaders of the two nuclear-weapon states did not manage to heed the voice of reason, it would be the war without winners.
According to the best estimates for the United States, even in case of victory, the country would lose one-third of its population. However, the most likely scenario in the case of the armed conflict was a complete demolition of both countries with inevitable consequences for the whole planet.
The crisis began after the unsuccessful military operation of the USA against Cuba in the Bay of Pigs. In 1962, the Soviet Union deployed its nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba. This decision adopted by the USSR was caused by a disposition of American missiles in Turkey, which was rather close to the USSR. This fact irritated the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The deployment of missiles was realized in strict secrecy, but the U.S. government suspected that something was wrong.
Soon an American scout aircraft identified the Soviet missiles in Cuba. As a result, the USA established a blockade of the island. During a long period of time, the government of the Soviet Union denied the fact of the presence of their missiles in Cuba. However, it was clear that the Americans were full of determination to get rid of these missiles. At last, Khrushchev had to recognize the fact of these missiles presence, assuring at the same time that the Soviet Union had no intention to attack the USA.
The tensest moment of the Cuban Missile Crisis is considered to be the Black Saturday when Soviet troops shouted down an American scout aircraft. The situation became even more serious when Kennedy made a decision for the bombing attack of the island, and American troops were ready for invasion. Many Americans left big cities for fear of a response strike of the Soviet Union.
Nevertheless, on Sunday, the government of the Soviet Union made a decision to come to terms with the USA. When Soviet missiles were removed from Cuba, the USA called off the blockade of the island.
It seems to me that one of the reasons why we should study history is to avoid its mistakes. And this movie is the illustrative evidence of this statement. The history of the twentieth century is characterized by the struggle for world supremacy between the two superpowers. In any case, I am sure that common sense should dominate over political ambitions.