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“The Day After” Movie Essay

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2021

The Day After

I think that the most distinctive ad unique feature of the movie “The Day After” (1983) is the message it conveys to the public. The film was aimed at raising viewers’ consciousness about the danger of nuclear war. Such goal is achieved by demonstrating the possible consequences of the nuclear war and the impact of such event on the life of people. The movie reflects the scope of possible catastrophe by demonstrating that lives of every hero the viewer meets in the movie are severely damaged after the war. Such depiction makes the main message clear. In such way, the creators of the film demonstrate the severity of damage that can be caused by nuclear war and persuade the viewers to take all possible actions to prevent such devastating scenario.

I feel that the talented performance of the cast can be considered another contributor to making “The Day After” movie stand out from the rest of the movies. The actors participating in the movie did a great job in creating the characters and revealing the tragic nature of events depicted in it. The actors masterly reproduced the people’s thoughtless attitude to nuclear war and physical and moral suffering of those who survive the war.

I think that the creators of the film masterly used different cinematographic techniques to illustrate events in the movie. While the beginning of the movie if full of bright colors reflecting the happy life of Americans, grayish and dull colors dominating in the post-war part create the distinctive contrast. The music is also appropriately used to illustrate the careless life of the heroes prior to the war and emphasize the tragic nature of the subsequent events. I feel that the appropriate choice of colors and music used in the movie helps to reveal the urgency and seriousness of the message it conveys.

You Can’t Be a Sweet Cucumber in a Vinegar Barrel

Zimbardo presents a large piece of information about the situations and factors causing people behave violently and the relation between the knowledge of such factors and the ability to judge the Abu Ghraib scandal adequately (par. 1). The author tries to investigate the causes of evil behavior of some people and attempts to determine whether the initial characteristics of the person make his/her behave in an unacceptable way, or certain conditions, including abuse and evil actions directed to the person, cause him/her become aggressive and do evil deeds. The professor states that it is rather “bad barrels” that make the “apples” behave violently (Zimbardo par. 3).

Therefore, the psychologist emphasizes that certain conditions can corrupt any person and provoke cruelty. To prove the rightness of his opinion, the professor gives several examples of the experiments that revealed the true nature of the violent behavior. He tells the readers about the experiment in Stanford prison, in which perfectly adequate good students participated. After they had been put under the conditions of constant psychological abuse, the students started demonstrating all signs of violent behavior very soon. Most of them could not resist the stress and had to be released. Another experiment mentioned by Zimbardo was held in New York.

The researchers took female students and placed them in a dark setting previously dressing them in black clothes and making all participants anonymous. In a short period, the young ladies were ready to deliver painful electric shocks to other participants. These experiments, together with the mentioning of Milgram’s experiment, and “The Lord of the Flies”, help the reader to understand that any ordinary good person will become cruel and savage if put under certain conditions. Therefore, the situation in Abu Ghraib prison should be treated as the one that should awaken the consciousness of American citizens and make them understand the importance of ensuring adequate behavior of those who are superior to the prisoners.

Works Cited

Zimbardo, Philip. . 2005. Web.

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"“The Day After” Movie." IvyPanda, 21 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/the-day-after-movie/.

1. IvyPanda. "“The Day After” Movie." April 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-day-after-movie/.


IvyPanda. "“The Day After” Movie." April 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-day-after-movie/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "“The Day After” Movie." April 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-day-after-movie/.


IvyPanda. (2021) '“The Day After” Movie'. 21 April.

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