|Figure 1: Theatrical Poster (Covey, 2015)|
- Director: Jimmy Murakami
- Native Title: When The Wind Blows
- Primary Language: English
- Format: Colour
- Year of Release: 1986
- Budget: Unknown
- Film Length: 80 minutes
- Production Company: Meltdown Productions, British Screen Productions, Film Four International
Named after the David Bowie track presented at the start, When the Wind Blows is an animated British production set at the height of the Thatcher/Reagan era of the Cold War, the film examines the paranoia of Mutually Assured Destruction and became famous for displaying the rather disastrous effects of nuclear fallout on the human body. And looks at how well-prepared the British public truly was for an actual nuclear attack, interspersed with recollections of life during the Second World War.
For American cinema, 1986 was the age of the macho one-man army, the post-apocalyptic survivor and the plucky agent averting World War III. But what makes Where The Wind Blows stand out is it takes an alternative view of this genre. "Possibly most important is the screenplay by Raymond Briggs, who adapted his own novel and who has a wonderfully comic way of turning a cliche inside out." (Canby, 1988). Instead of communists and a small armoury, we see a quaint middle-class couple as they come to terms with how a single bomb has turned the Sussex contryside into a scene from Fallout or Mad Max. But worse, much of the film watches them as they progressively become sicker and sicker from an illness they don't even realise they have.
There is a degree of quintessential British charm underlying the film, a sense of "Keep calm and carry on" that the two protagonists James/Jim (John Mills) and Hilda Bloggs (Peggy Ashcroft) maintain, and to the film's credit. "Though the subject matter of this film is dark, there is a fair amount of low-key comedic moments in the dialogue." (Burbank, 2015) The two discuss what James would wear when the bomb drops, while Hilda's first priority after emerging from the shelter is to clean up. And when the two discuss what should happen should a big scary Russian soldier burst though the door (complete with a visualisation of a hairy red-eyed giant doing just that), Hilda's reasoning is to offer the invader a cup of tea because she heard Russians like tea.
|Figure 2: How the film tackles nuclear war: Two middle-class retirees slowly dying of rad poisoning. (Roberts, 2011)|
|Figure 3: Imagine spots like this are scattered throughout the film, often in discussions on what|
their lives in WW2 were like. (Remer, 2014)
|Figure 4: Jim's theories for Hilda's deteriorating condition hilight how little he knows of what's going on.|
- Canby, V., 1988; Review/Film; Animated Black Comedy About Courage as the World Ends; The New York Times; available at http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=940DEFDC103FF932A25750C0A96E948260 (last accessed 8th April 2016)
- Burbank, M., 2015; Vintage Film Review: When the Wind Blows (1986) – A Nuclear War Tale from a Different Perspective; The SIlver Petticoat Review; available at http://www.silverpetticoatreview.com/2015/08/23/vintage-film-review-when-the-wind-blows-1986-a-nuclear-war-tale-from-a-different-perspective/ (last accessed 8th April 2016)
- Patrick, T.; Review: When the Wind Blows (1986); That Film Guy; available at http://www.thatfilmguy.net/when-the-wind-blows-1988/ (last accessed 8th March 2016)
- Figure 1: Covey, R., 2015; [Theatrical Poster]; When The Wind Blows Poster; available at http://www.chud.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/When-the-Wind-Blows-Poster.jpg (last accessed 12th April 2016)
- Figure 2:Roberts, S., 2011; [How the film tackles nuclear war: Two middle-class retirees slowly dying of rad poisoning.]; When The Wind Blows Header; available at https://stevenrobertsdmublog.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/when-the-wind-blows-header.jpg (last accessed 12th April 2016)
Figure 3: Remer, J., 2014; [Imagine spots like this are scattered throughout the film, often in discussions on what their lives in WW2 were like]; 1417529820_3; available at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/images/reviews/290/full/1417529820_3.png (last accessed 12th April 2016)
- Figure 4: Smith, J., 2014; [Jim's theories for Hilda's deteriorating condition hilight how little he knows of what's going on.]; When The Wind Blows; http://www.ioncinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/when-the-wind-blows.jpg (last accessed 12th April 2016)