DIRECTOREspar, David
TITLEWar and Peace in the Nuclear Age: Part X, Zero Hour
DISTRIBUTORAnnenberg/CPB Project
RUNNING TIME60 minutes

This film discusses negotiations with the Soviet Union and the dilemmas within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during the Carter and Reagan administrations. New nuclear developments, such as the United States’ neutron bomb and the Soviet Union’s SS-20 ballistic missile, launched disagreement and conflict throughout Europe in negotiations about arms control. Through interviews with German, Russian, and United States leaders, the film presents the process of arms control negotiations as tumultuous and ever changing. Reagan’s Zero Option proposal was initially rejected by the Soviet Union, but when Gorbachev came to power, the Soviet Union later put it back on the table for renegotiation. Because the Soviet Union changed its political thinking, Reagan then had to convince Western Europe that dismantling all nuclear missiles was a positive move. The film is the tenth of a thirteen part series, including interviews and original footage, on World War II and the Cold War through the Reagan administration.

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