Director: Frederick Wiseman

Institute History

  • 1988 Sundance Film Festival


Frederick Wiseman continues to rank among America’s most accomplished and engaging documentary filmmakers. His work since 1967 totals 21 features, including Titicut Follies, High School, Law and Order, Welfare, Model and Racetrack.

Missile continues Wiseman’s exploration of people within institutions—the microcosms that circumscribe and determine their behavior. It focuses on men trained to launch nuclear missiles. With his characteristically detached eye, Wiseman follows several men of the 4315th Training Squadron of the Strategic Air Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as they learn how to arm, target and launch nuclear warheads.

Missile, is like much of Wiseman’s work, is surprisingly frank and non-judgemental; he leaves it up to the viewer to judge the morality or immorality of these men whose fingers are—literally—on the buttons of world destruction.

— Tony Safford

Screening Details


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