Logline: Two friends must navigate the international prepper scene to learn how to survive a nuclear apocalypse, all in preparation for when they build their own survival bunker in their parents’ basement.
Directed by: Julian Vogel
A documentary with a sense of humour, Inter-Continental Bunker Mission is a feature-length adventure about two friends diving head first into a world of preppers, fallout shelters, and government survival plans – all in the name of preparing to survive a nuclear apocalypse in their own basement bunker.
It’s May, 2018. Nils is arriving back to his home in the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden. As he opens the door, a leaflet is caught in the letterbox entitled: “If War or Crisis Comes”. It is a leaflet distributed to every household in Sweden, sent out by the government for the first time since 1962 – when the world was in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Together with his best friend Julian, Nils embarks on an Inter-Continental Bunker Mission; to learn from the best in order to outlast what calamity is sure to come.
Nils and Julian go on a journey around the world to find out what a global nuclear war, and the end of the world might look like, and how they might try to prepare for such a scenario. Finally, after months of traveling to gather opinions and knowledge on the subject, they construct and live in a fallout shelter – in Nils’ parent’s basement in Stockholm.
From pretending the world has ended at a Post-Apocalyptic Festival in Poland, to encounters with hardcore survivalists in the United States, to meeting with survivors of the Hiroshima Atomic bomb attack in Japan, Nils and Julian hope their journey inspires others to join the debate on what we can do as a global community to prevent such disasters from happening.
ICBM is an accessible and entertaining documentary, with the potential of creating debate and further outreach on the subject of nuclear arms, collaborating with organisations such as The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace and others. The film aims to be funny, turned serious, and encourage younger generations to engage with those generations who lived through the cold war on a subject that in today’s darkening political climate is becoming ever more concerning.
Inter-Continental Bunker Mission juxtaposes the humour, participatory style, and character encounters from documentaries such as Super Size Me and Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends, with the seriousness of the topic of nuclear war and preparedness, as explored in older titles such as Threads and The War Game, and contemporary films like Command and Control and Countdown to Zero.
Through this fresh combination of styles, ICBM aims to open up the topic of nuclear conflict and preparedness to a broad range of audiences, with particular attention to the 16-35 demographic – those who are too young to remember the Cold War. The film sits in a gap in the current market of nuclear documentaries; utilising a contemporary approach to offer audiences a new and exciting entry point into the subject.
ICBM comes at a time of alarming change in the nuclear geopolitical landscape. With Russia’s attempted invasion of Ukraine, the collapse of the INF Treaty in 2019 and the expiration of New START in 2021, ICBM is strongly positioned to attract audiences that are becoming increasingly concerned with current developments, as well as those becoming more curious about preparedness as a result of recent natural disasters, pandemics, or terrorist attacks.