November 22nd 2016: The Irish Film Institute (IFI) will partner with the Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to present a screening of Robert Kenner’s documentary Command and Control. Based on Eric Schlosser’s acclaimed book of the same name, the film is a shocking exposé of an incident in rural Arkansas in September 1980 that saw the near-release of the United States’ largest ever nuclear warhead. The screening will take place on Thursday, December 1st at 6.30pm
On the evening of September 18th, 1980, an airman was conducting maintenance on a Titan-II missile at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. As he worked, a 6lb socket from his socket wrench fell 80 feet before hitting and damaging the skin on one of the rocket’s fuel tanks, causing a leak. The area was evacuated.
Nine hours later, as a result of the leak, the missile’s fuel exploded. The warhead landed about 100 feet from the launch complex’s entry point, its safety features having deployed correctly and preventing the release of any radioactive material. One Air Force airman was killed, with others were seriously injured; the launch complex itself was destroyed.
The documentary investigates the accident in forensic detail, as director Kenner explores the astonishing events with deft use of recreation, archival footage and to-camera interviews with key participants. With its mounting sense of dread and panic as the magnitude of the accident becomes clear, Command and Control is as much an edge-of-the-seat thriller as it is a sobering cautionary tale.
David O’Mahony, Head of Cinema Programming at the Irish Film Institute, commented, ‘Robert Kenner has crafted a timely and engrossing look at the ever-present dangers of nuclear weapons. While the standard narrative around such weapons is the threat they pose to one’s enemies, this film brilliantly exposes how perilous it can be for countries to simply store their own armaments, and how often the world has narrowly avoided catastrophe.’
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D. added: “Disarmament and Non-Proliferation are central aspects of Irish foreign policy. I’m sure this special screening will help Irish people to understand why this issue is so important – and I hope that as many of them as possible attend this excellent production.”
The IFI is pleased to partner with the Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of their Disarmament Education and Public Outreach efforts.
Tickets for the screening of Command and Control are now on sale here and the IFI Box Office – 01-6793477.
For further information, interview availability, and high-res images, please contact Michelle McDonagh (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the IFI Press Office – (01) 6795744.
IFI is principally funded by the Arts Council.
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