Thirteen Days Movie Essay

Since a blockade is technically an act of war, Kennedy decides to call this measure a “quarantine”.

The president appears on national television to tell the American people of the Soviet missiles in Cuba and his response.

Much to the disgust of military ‘hawks’ like Air Force general Curtis Le May, Kennedy decides to impose a naval blockade around Cuba.

American naval vessels will stop and search ships entering Cuban waters, to prevent more Soviet military equipment and personnel from being landed on the island.

I recommend this film especially strongly to high school and college age students who are too young to have any Cold War memory, as well as to those who lived through the era and may have forgotten what it felt like to come this close.

is an American motion picture directed by Roger Donaldson and released in 2000. is a dramatisation of the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 (its title refers to the length of the crisis).

This is a movie about the development of foreign policy in a crisis; it spells out with brilliant detail the decision-making process of JFK's inner circle, the tension between the Executive Office of the President and the Departments of State and Defense, and the attempts by the Military Industrial Complex (namely the Joint Chiefs) to undermine the diplomatic approaches favored by the president.

It highlights the conflict between military standard operating procedures ("rules of engagement") and the better judgment/common sense of right-thinking human beings.

Kennedy, however, is reluctant to rush into a military response that is likely to trigger nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

Instead, the president assembles a team of political and military advisors to brainstorm solutions to the crisis.


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