Documentary screening, Q&A to spotlight ‘The Day After’

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A documentary screening and Q&A on Monday in Lawrence will focus on “The Day After,” a 1983 made-for-TV film that may have changed the course of history.

More than 2,000 Lawrence residents participated in the making of “The Day After,” and millions of people worldwide watched it on Nov. 20, 1983. The film started an international conversation during the Cold War and helped to avert nuclear war, according to event organizers.

“Television Event,” a 2020 documentary about the film and its context, will make its theatrical premiere Monday in Lawrence, shortly after the 40th anniversary of “The Day After” airing on ABC.

“With irreverent humor and sobering apocalyptic vision, Television Event director Jeff Daniels reveals how a few courageous individuals managed to stand up to corporate executives, aghast sponsors, and White House pressure to bring a vivid depiction of the realities of nuclear war right into our living rooms,” according to a synopsis.

“Television Event” director Jeff Daniels; Ellen Moore, actor and Lawrence local who played Joleen Dahlberg in “The Day After”; local casting director Jack Wright; and former Lawrence mayor David Longhurst will be present in person for the discussion, according to the event ticket page. Actor Steve Guttenberg, “The Day After” director Nicholas Meyer and producers Bob Papazian and Stephanie Austin will join the Q&A virtually.

“Our film, Television Event, reminds us that however polarized we may be ideologically, we can still come together, inform ourselves, and act to prevent the obscene devastation caused by nuclear weapons,” Daniels said in the release.

The event is set for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4 in the main theater at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St. Doors open at 6 p.m.

General admission tickets are available for $12 apiece at this link. The top tier of the main theater floor is wheelchair accessible.

Here’s a trailer for the documentary:

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