Notes on “Thirteen Days” — the movie

Watching “Thirteen Days” for the 9th time, I get the feeling this movie should be a regular part of any class on decision making.

For those who haven’t had a chance to watch this movie, it is based on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961 that pushed the US, and the world in general, to the brink of a nuclear war.

As Kennedy tittles and tattles between various options trying to fuse the crisis while trying not to blink at the Soviets, you get a feeling that decision making is not such a rational process after all. Logic takes a backseat as emotions take over. Your colleagues, family, friends…everyone wants a piece of the action. You almost get to a stage where you feel that there is no one right decision. Every decision is correct and logical to an extent and the only difference is the frame of reference you chose to look at it from.

This is one of my favourite movies — all time. Each time I watch it, I get a new frame of reference. To this day, I believe Kennedy was more charismatic than effective. But then, that is a belief that is open to challenge.


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