I watched Kai’s copy of Thirteen Days tonight. As a historical re-enactment of the Cuban Missile Crisis, it is apparently quite accurate. A lot of the dialogue was taken straight from tapes made of the meetings. Though, from what I have read, our historical understanding of the crisis keeps changing as new evidence becomes available. One can only speculate how much of what has happened in world politics more recently will be improperly understood, unless such archives are eventually opened.
The tension between the military and civilian portions of government is a particularly interesting aspect of the film. The kind of autonomy granted to military forces – as required for strategic reasons – is profoundly worrisome, in a world where ever more states have ever more nuclear weapons. That’s what makes the crisis such a chilling incident: the disjoint between intentions and certain action, the possibility of error and catastrophe.