I remember seeing it when it when it came out - they showed it on PBS with tons of warnings about graphic scenes. It was scarier than "The Day After" because it seemed more real - less like a tv movie. It also represented the news and information just as we would, via the newspapers and televisions. When they stop working we lose our connection to the rest of the world, no matter where we live. (Yeah, and the Internet, but that's probably more fragile than televisions for everyday people.)
But watching it again I was struck not only with the perspective of someone who now has a wife and children, but how things in the world really haven't changed much. While we don't have a cold war anymore, we do have tensions in the middle east, a fragile infrastructure that would be a trauma to lose, etc.
It's truly horrifying. Everyone should see it once.