The Atomic Cafe

Directed by Kevin Rafferty and Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty

Release Year: 1982
Running Time: 88
Color Type: Color
Country: U.S.
Language: English
Closed Captioned: Yes
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Screening Info
Crew
Directed by Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty

Armageddon has never been so darkly funny as in The Atomic Cafe. This 1982 cult classic juxtaposes Cold War history, propaganda, music and culture, seamlessly crafted from government-produced educational and training films, newsreels and advertisements. Taken together, these sources cheerily instruct the public on how to live in the Atomic Age, how to survive a nuclear attack (!) ... and how to fight and win a nuclear war. As a U.S. Army training film advises, "Viewed from a safe distance, the atomic bomb is one of the most beautiful sights ever seen by man." Returning to theaters in a sparkling 4K digital restoration created by IndieCollect, The Atomic Cafe is an absurdist blast from the past that would be downright laughable if it weren’t so eerily relevant to our fake news present.

Critical Acclaim

“A stunner, a movie that has one howling with laughter, horror and disbelief. Deserves national attention."

“A comic horror film. Everyone should visit The Atomic Cafe.”

“An artfully assembled collage of official insanity.”

“A chilling memory of life in the first years under the mushroom umbrella.”

"Nuclear holocausts were never so darkly funny as in The Atomic Cafe (1982), a compilation of hilariously scrunchy archival footage.”

“Never feels too distant, despite the years, perhaps because both careless stewardship of the bomb and surreal official propaganda seem to be making a comeback.”

Awards

  • National Film Registry – U.S. Library of Congress

Press Kit

Hi-Res Images

Trailer EMB