fbpx Threads | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements


1984, Mick Jackson, UK, 114 min.
With Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale

Show Times

  • Fri, Aug 23rd 4:00pm
  • Sat, Aug 24th 3:00pm
  • Mon, Aug 26th 6:00pm
New restoration!

"Dark masterpiece...The only film I have been really and truly scared and indeed horrified by."—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"A documentary of a nightmare...Jackson's film remains entirely relevant, and wholly unsettling—nay—absolutely, f___ing terrifying."—Sam Toy, Empire

THE WAR GAME (1965) and THE DAY AFTER (1983) were groundbreaking, but THREADS remains unsurpassed as an unnervingly convincing cinematic representation of nuclear devastation. Set in the industrial city of Sheffield, it begins in the deceptively familiar territory of British "kitchen-sink" realism, with a back-seat seduction leading to pregnancy and marriage for young couple Jimmy (Dinsdale) and Ruth (Meagher). The latter's experiences provide a recurring reference point as an American/Soviet face-off over Iran leads to war, nuclear strikes leave millions dead, the threads that hold civilization together quickly unravel, and society regresses to a semi-barbaric level. First broadcast on BBC-TV, THREADS presents the horrors of radiation sickness, nuclear winter, mass starvation, and other disasters with unflinching realism. Director Jackson (TEMPLE GRANDIN) and screenwriter Barry Hines (KES) make ingenious use of low-budget limitations, forgoing f/x spectacle for a jagged montage style that favors jarring transitions and a keen eye for the disturbing detail. As saber-rattling world leaders continue to recklessly flaunt the nuclear option, the message of THREADS remains as potent as ever: there will be no victors in a nuclear war. New 2K DCP digital restoration. (MR)

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