This expedition to nuclear missile silos attempts to relieve anxiety of nuclear destruction. But can we stop being afraid of the future? A hypnotic, contemplative audiovisual essay on fear, violence and existential emptiness.
A fascinating thesis and accompanying history lesson that never quite makes sense as a feature-length film, Travis Wilkerson & Erin Wilkerson new documentary Nuclear Family is trying to do a lot of things all at once. Wilkerson, best known for the deeply personal and highly accomplished Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? continues to excavate his familial history while also interrogating the genocide of Indigenous peoples and the nuclear arms race, tying all of them together into a larger statement about the violence at the heart of the American mythos. It’s potent stuff, and persuasive. He begins his film with the recounting of a childhood memory, that of his mother’s profound fear of impending nuclear holocaust.
Travis Wilkerson is a Denver-born director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and experimental feature filmmaker. His films screened at Sundance and Cinéma du Réelfestivals, as well as Berlin, Locarno and Gijón. Together with his wife Erin, he founded the Creative Agitation political art collective. Nuclear Family is their co-directorial debut.
1999 Accelerated Under-development: In the Idiom of Santiago Alvarez (doc.)
2002 An Injury to One (doc.)
2005 Who Killed Cock Robin?
2009 Proving Ground (doc.)
2011 Distinguished Flying Cross (doc.)
2015 Machine Gun or Typewriter?
2017 Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (doc.)
2021 Rodzina nuklearna / Nuclear Family (co-dir.)