Good thing we have been spared this nightmare: “The Third World War”. That’s the title of a 90-minute historical fiction which the ZDF aired in late 1998.
The fictional film scenario: in view of the civil rights movement in Eastern Europe and the GDR in 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev is overthrown by a hard-line faction. The peaceful revolution is violently brought to an end. A political and military confrontation between East and West gradually escalates into nuclear war.
The credibility and sensitivity of the film is helped by the fact that the various stages of escalation are based on actual secret plans of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It is also well known that the coup against Gorbachev actually took place – albeit two years later in 1991.
The German-American cooperation combines new computer-animated scenes with archive footage of the time to create an equally oppressive and captivating view of what might have happened …