Up to date information on the comings and goings in The Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum. Also a behind the scenes look at how the museum operates and how the museum team is working after our capacity expansion project to which grew our capacity from 60 to 420 in July 2010!

Cold War Cinema, Guest Curator: Les

Posted by Eric Espig On 11:37

The new Spring 2011 Cold War Cinema schedule is unique and interesting in that it has been curated by Les, one of the many volunteer experts at the Diefenbunker. Les, retired from the Canadian Armed Forces after 35 years of service, has been a volunteer guide / interpreter at the Diefenbunker for several years and has often expressed an interest in the movies that we show. Having spoken up, he must now "put up", therefore he will shortly prepare a review on a few movies to entice you to visit the museum on a movie night, to have a tour of the bunker with him before the movie and then to see the movie(s) that he has proposed. At the end of the movie you will be invited to share your ideas on the movie with him and with the rest of the viewers. I have been kicking around 2 names for this program: "Les is More: Cold War Films and The Diefenbunker" versus "Les Talk and More Action: The Cold War and Hollywood". The reviews will be presented monthly and appear here on the DiefenBlog and in eFusion, the Diefenbunker monthly newsletter, so be sure to "stay tuned".  

Les says that as a Baby Boomer born and growing up in central Canada he was exposed to, and influenced by, the many TV, movie and print publications that often had as a focus the evils of communism and the fears that communism would be spread around the world by force and or through subterfuge. As a young child he was therefore familiar with the Korean War events, the Suez Crisis that could have expanded into a global conflict, the many failed revolutions in Eastern Europe as nations tried to overthrow their imposed communist governments, the white trails in the Canadian sky that reflected high flying military aircraft on training missions, the stories of spies betraying the West to the East, and the thrills and the fears of Sputnik as the Soviets appeared to be winning the space race and possibly the arms race. The newspapers seemed to be constantly full of some military conflict that could lead to a global war, a war upon which the West would depend upon nuclear weapons. Secrets about these weapons had to be kept, military forces had to be ready, and spies could not be tolerated.  

Les has chosen 3 very well made and deservedly discussed cold war films which also have very high entertainment value and production quality. Also, as a Cold War Cinema first, an online poll which will remain open right up until until 1 hour before the showing of the film on Volunteer Appreciation night, April 12, 2011 (see above). Now we can finally determine which film is more popular among Bunker fans: Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide, Gorky park, or The Sum of all Fears.

So Thank you Les, for facilitating these cold war discussions and sharing your insights about how these films were both mirrors and products of the incredibly tense times in which they were created. "Les...Camera....Action!"