Atomic Cafe

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


The Atomic Cafe

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.

“A comic horror film. Everyone should visit The Atomic Cafe.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice

“An artfully assembled collage of official insanity.” – David Ansen, Newsweek

“A chilling memory of life in the first years under the mushroom umbrella.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"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.” – Michael Agresta, Texas Observer

Presented in 2K
Not Rated
Documentary, Politics & World Affairs, History
Kevin Rafferty
Pierce Rafferty
Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

A time capsule of a time capsule, the 1982 documentary compilation film 'The Atomic Café' feels suddenly, enragingly relevant again. There was a time — during the 1990s particularly — when Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, and Pierce Rafferty’s montage of newsreels, training films, and commercials from ...

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