Film reviews Countdown to Zero | Incendies | Viva Riva!


Lucy Walker's unsettling nuclear weapons documentary reignites old fears about terrorism by examining the old saw that dismantling weapons-grade material is unachievable. Her exceptional research examines a history of near misses, including a moment in 1995 where a sober Boris Yeltsin avoided global annihilation by ignoring a blip on the Soviet radar, and the story of the American B-52 which flew across the US unaware there were warheads on its wing. "Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, miscalculation, or by madness," said President John F Kennedy in 1961. Talking heads include Tony Blair and former Soviet premiere Mikhail Gorbachev.

On general release from Friday


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This epic political drama begins with twins given two envelopes at the reading of their mother's will. They reveal details of a father they never met and a brother they never knew they had. Their mission is to find both and sends the two siblings to the Middle East to uncover some startling truths. Emotionally tough, compelling and visceral.

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, from 27 June


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Congolese writer-producer-director Djo Tunda Wa Munga makes his feature film debut with a flashy gangster drama about a low-level wheeler-dealer who falls for the eye-catching moll of a local kingpin. The depiction of Congo's daily corruption is intriguing and the film contains some athletic erotica and attempts at social commentary. On the other hand the slick depiction of underworld sleaze feels second-hand and derivative.

Glasgow Film Theatre from Friday; Filmhouse, Edinburgh, from 1 July

• This article was first published in the Scotland on Sunday on June 18, 2011