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

With

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

Crew

DirectorErin Wilkerson, Travis Wilkerson
CinematographyTravis Wilkerson
EditingTravis Wilkerson
MusicIf Thousands
Sound DesignIf Thousands
SoundTravis Wilkerson
Production DesignErin Wilkerson
ProducerErin Wilkerson, Travis Wilkerson, Catherine Wilkerson
Executive ProducerCreative 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.

Filmography

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 1969 in Denver, Colorado, USA. He studied film, works as a writer, director and producer, and has made a number of films since 1999. In 2009, he co-founded the Creative Agitation political art collective with his wife Erin Wilkerson.

Filmography

1999 Accelerated Under-Development; 64 min. 2002 An Injury to One; 53 min. 2005 Who Killed Cock Robin?; 88 min. 2009 Proving Ground; 60 min. 2011 Distinguished Flying Cross; 61 min. 2015 Machine Gun or Typewriter?; 71 min. 2017 Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?; 90 min. 2021 Nuclear Family; 95 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022