Part 1: Introduction to The Cold War

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Activity 1A.1: Unit Overview

Films about events in Afghanistan, Republic of the Congo, and Chile

Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) is a film about the real-life U.S. Congressman Charles Wilson and his efforts to increase C.I.A. support for anti-Soviet Afghan insurgents. The film includes re-enactments of armed conflict in Afghanistan and footage from the time period. The film has been criticized for a biased portrayal of the Soviet army.

The Kite Runner (2007) is a film about the escape of a family to Pakistan during the start of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Lumumba: La Mort du prophète (Lumumba: Death of the Prophet) (1992) is a documentary about Lumumba’s rise to power and his brutal assassination. The film includes home movies, photographs, old newsreels, and contemporary interviews with Belgian journalists and Lumumba’s own daughter to try to piece together the tragic events and betrayals of 1960. In French with English subtitles.

Salvador Allende (2004) is the Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán’s look back at Allende’s rise and violent fall. The film includes primary-source footage from the period. In Spanish with no subtitles. It is available to watch online for free.

Activity 1B.2: The Arms Race

Film clips of nuclear bomb explosions
You can search YouTube and other video hosting Web sites with keywords such as “atomic bomb explosion” to find clips.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembered

This site shows footage of the bombing of Nagasaki and of the aftermath of the bombing in Hiroshima.

Video games about the arms race

Defcon is a strategy game that has one goal: destroy as much of the enemy’s population as possible while having as little of one’s own population destroyed as possible.

Online version of the game Risk

Activity 1B.3: The Iron Curtain and the Soviet Response

The Churchill Centre: Sinews of Peace
This site contains video of Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech.