After discovering a catalogue of U.S. government films in a San Francisco bookstore, director Pierce Rafferty worked with his co-directors Kevin Rafferty and Jayne Loader for more than five years to assemble the collage film The Atomic Cafe. Bringing together archival film clips of atomic bomb tests, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and civil defense films of the cold war, the film highlights the absurdity of our nation's nuclear "education." At one time, it seemed, "duck and cover" might save us from the atomic end of the world.
The Family Fallout Shelter is a lighthearted narrative short that recounts a young boy's wish to get a nuclear fallout shelter for Christmas. English received a Director's Guild award for the film in 1962.