Nuclear Family

Cinematic confrontation therapy: since Donald Trump’s election, filmmaker Travis Wilkerson has been plagued by nightmares of nuclear apocalypse. To cope with his fears, he decides to revive an old family tradition. With his wife and children, he embarks on a road trip along the missile silos of the “black heart” of the United States. His camera always in tow, he discovers a landscape into which an often much older history of destruction, war and environmental disaster has already been inscribed.
The static shots of fenced-off scenery, motels and botany are repeatedly interrupted by the surreal grandeur of old analogue shots of nuclear tests. Apocalyptic mushroom clouds of the most spectacular colours rise up into the sky, set to such fitting music as Sun Ra’s “Nuclear War”. Horror has never been more beautiful.
At a time when the news is dominated by coronavirus and the climate catastrophe, this essay film gives us renewed awareness of an older but no less real threat to the world in a very personal way.
by Erin Wilkerson, Travis Wilkerson
with Travis Wilkerson, Erin Wilkerson, Matilda Wilkerson, Dalton Wilkerson, Adva Wilkerson
USA / Singapore 2021 English 95’ Colour & Black/White Documentary form


  • Travis Wilkerson
  • Erin Wilkerson
  • Matilda Wilkerson
  • Dalton Wilkerson
  • Adva Wilkerson


Director Erin Wilkerson, Travis Wilkerson
Cinematography Travis Wilkerson
Editing Travis Wilkerson
Music If Thousands
Sound Design If Thousands
Sound Travis Wilkerson
Production Design Erin Wilkerson
Producer Erin Wilkerson, Travis Wilkerson, Catherine Wilkerson
Executive Producer Creative Agitation

Erin Wilkerson

Born in 1982 in Los Angeles, USA. She studied architecture and works as an artist within the Creative Agitation political art collective, which she founded in 2009 with her husband Travis Wilkerson.


2015 Machine Gun or Typewriter?; 71 min. 2020 The Scents That Carry Through Walls; 14 min. 2021 Nuclear Family; 95 min. 2022 The Smoke Rides on the Wind; 13 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022

Travis Wilkerson

Born in Denver, Colorado, USA in 1969, he studied film and works as a writer, director and producer. He and his wife Erin Wilkerson founded the Creative Agitation political art collective and went on to direct the film Nuclear Family which screened in the 2022 Berlinale Forum. His internationally recognised body of filmmaking, produced with modest resources and as self-sufficiently as possible, crosses the boundaries between documentary and fiction film, performance and activism. In 2015, the film magazine “Sight & Sound” named Wilkerson “the political conscience of American cinema”.

Filmography (selection)

1999 Accelerated Under-Development; documentary 2001 An Injury to One; documentary 2005 Who Killed Cock Robin? 2011 Distinguished Flying Cross; documentary 2012 Far From Afghanistan; documentary, anthology film with John Gianvito, Soon-Mi Yoo, Minda Martin, Jon Jost 2013 Los Angeles Red Squad; documentary 2015 Machine Gun or Typewriter? 2018 Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?; documentary 2022 Nuclear Family; documentary, co-director: Erin Wilkerson 2023 The Fuckee’s Hymn; documentary 2024 Through the Graves the Wind Is Blowing

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024