David French and Jonah Goldberg ask what’s the best Cold War movie ever. French selects “Hunt for Red October.” Goldberg presents this list:
1. “The Lives of Others”
2. “Right Stuff”
3. “Dr. Strangelove”
5. “Red Dawn”
6. “Hunt For Red October”
Like “The Lives of Others,” “Cold War” looks at life under communism during the Cold War (the former in East Germany, the latter in Poland). It’s also an examination of art under communism. Unlike “Hunt for Red October,” it’s not about the clash between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It’s a behind the lines like at Soviet-style rule.
I saw “Cold War” when it opened the European Union film festival at the American Film Institute. Now it’s being shown daily in the Washington, D.C. area and, I assume, elsewhere.
Does my selection of “The Lives of Others” and “Cold War” reflect my preference for European movies over Hollywood productions? Perhaps. However, it’s reasonable to think that, other things being equal, the best films about the Cold War would be by and about its direct victims — the people who suffered so grievously under communism.
UPDATE: It’s not a movie, but the German television series “Weissensee” is another great Cold War drama. The episode in which the Berlin Wall becomes defunct is beyond epic.