The Red Button was nominated by the Jury of the Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro for the Yellow Oscar 2012, for the best feature film of the festival.
The Red Button is a 52-minute documentary film that tells the dramatic story of Stanislav Petrov, the Russian officer who, in 1983, saved the world from atomic war.
During the early ‘80s, the Russian leader was Jurij Andropov, the most right-wing Soviet leader since Stalin. A known hardliner, Andropov was very wary of US activity.
It was an intense period of time in the relationship between the United States and Russia. Tensions were running high between the two superpowers, and the atmosphere was suspicious because of recent incidents. On September 5th, a Korean jet liner with 269 passengers, many of whom were American, had been shot down over Soviet territory because the Russians believed it was a spy mission. The action led Reagan to label Russia an “evil empire.” Soon after, the KGB communicated to the western operatives to prepare for possible nuclear war. It is now thought that throughout 1983, the Kremlin assumed that the US and its allies were planning a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union.
So it was in this tense environment that Stanislav Petrov worked deep inside Serpukhov-15, a secret bunker, monitoring early warning satellites. On September 26, 1983, Petrov was in charge of monitoring American missiles that could potentially be sent to Russia to start a nuclear war. It was not his normal duty; he was to man the post twice a month just to keep his skills from getting rusty.