October 18 - November 1, 1986

There's really only one choice for the pick of the list this week. Between the mediocre episodes of Ewoks, and the Doctor allowing his companion to die and getting a new, fitness freak of a sidekick, came a little known British animated film called When the Wind Blows.

I was familiar with this movie as I remember watching it on TVO back in the 90s. I wasn't really looking forward to revisiting it, as it is not particularly uplifting or exciting. In fact it is just downright sad.

In a small cottage in rural England live Jim and Hilda, an elderly couple enjoying their golden years in their modest home. They love their life together in the countryside and trust things will go as planned.

They don't.

This was 1986 and the fear of nuclear war chilled everyone. And for Jim and Hilda the fear becomes reality. But they are hardy folk and have made the preparations that the government pamphlets have told them need to be done. They survive the holocaust, and we watch as they slowly deteriorate, succumbing to radiation poisoning, starvation and slow death.

Don't go into this looking for a happy ending. This is one of a number of films made at the time designed to scare is into doing something about the arms race. The animation style is simple and cartoony for the main part, mixed with 3D sets and stop motion effects for the punch.

I can't see a movie like this being made today. This is most definitely a movie of the mid 80s. I won't say I enjoyed this, but I think it is an important cultural artifact.

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