dir. Lynn Littman
cast: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris
The Wetherlys are an average small town American family, struggling to survive in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Dad was in LA when the missiles hit and never made it home. Mum has to watch her kids sicken and die of radiation poisoning, while trying to keep things going.
Contemporary with films like Threads and The Day After, Testament features none of the scenes of mass destruction, mass panics or looting but is equally as harrowing, albeit in a much more quiet, restrained fashion. The family dies off one by one, and she has to bury her kids in the back garden, stitched up in bedsheets. At the same time, it does show the how people really come together in disasters- the town pulls together to try and survive, orphaned kids are cared for and people start looking out for each other. That said, the end scene where the mother considers ending it all it for her and surviving kid by gas themselves in the garage is one of the most wrenching in any post-apocalypse movie.
Not as iconic as Threads, but equally as harrowing.