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15

THURSDAY

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Government-disseminated propaganda just ain’t what it used to be. Here’s what we have to look forward to in the post-Cold War era: Duck and cover! The ILOVEYOU virus has infected the mainframe! From the Philippines! Back in the good ol’ days, though, Uncle Sam gave us some real horrors: mushroom clouds, the Reds, and Barry Goldwater. What do we have now? Vladimir Putin? Unstable postcolonial African states? Bad T1 connections? In the late ’70s, Jayne Loader and brothers Kevin and Pierce Rafferty loaded themselves up with popcorn and began viewing—and culling scenes from—military films and other cinematic government propaganda that was supposed to prepare the American people for the A-bomb. In 1982, 10,000 films and five years later, the trio released The Atomic Cafe, an unnarrated documentary-collage that evokes both laughter and intense horror. See their classic creation—but don’t forget to stock your bomb shelter before you go—at 7 p.m. at the National Archives Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. (202) 501-5000. (Elissa Silverman)