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"blending activism and filmmaking"




A Film by
Anand Patwardhan

Filmed over three tumultuous years in India, Pakistan, Japan and the USA following nuclear tests in the Indian sub-continent War and Peace is a documentary journey of peace activism in the face of global militarism and war.

The film is framed by the murder of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, an act whose portent and poignancy remains undiminished half a century later. For the filmmaker, whose family was immersed in the non-violent Gandhian movement, the sub-continent's trajectory towards unabashed militarism is explored with sorrow, though the film captures stories of resistance along the way. Amongst these is a visit to the "enemy country" of Pakistan, where contrary to expectations, Indian delegates are showered by affection not only by their counterparts in the peace movement but by uninitiated common folk.

The film moves on to examine the costs being extracted from citizens in the name of national security. From the plight of residents living near the nuclear test site to the horrendous effects of uranium mining on local indigenous populations, it becomes abundantly clear that, contrary to a myth first created by the U.S.A, there is no such thing as the "peaceful Atom".

WAR & PEACE / JANG AUR AMAN slips seamlessly from a description of home made jingoism to focus on how an aggressive United States has become a role model, its doctrine of "Might is Right" only too well-absorbed by aspiring elites of the developing world. As we enter the 21st century, war has become perennial, enemies are re-invented and economies are inextricably tied to the production and sale of weapons. In the moral wastelands of the world memories of Gandhi seem like a mirage that never was, created by our thirst for peace and our very distance from it.

* Grand Prize, Earth Vision Global Environment Festival, Tokyo, 2002
* International Critics' Award (FIPRESCI), Sydney Film Festival, 2002
* Best Film/Video, Mumbai International Film Festival, 2002
* International Jury Prize, Mumbai International Film Festival, 2002
* Gold Award, Indian Documentary Producers' Association, 2002
* Best Documentary, International Video Festival, Kerala, 2003
* Best Documentary, Karachi International Film Festival, 2003
* Silver Dhow, Zanzibar International Film Festival, 2003
* Best Non-Fiction, National Film Awards, India, 2004


" The film itself is a tour de force, beautifully shot and often darkly funny and much more riveting than the dry subject matter might suggest."
Duncan Campbell - The Guardian, UK

"War and Peace has a riveting intelligence all its own and earns its epic title."
Elvis Mitchell - The New York Times

"We should listen to our voices of dissent for our own sake and for the sake of our children and their children. War and Peace is that voice's most eloquent expression. Which is why it should be seen by everyone, everywhere. In schools, in colleges, in factories, on television."
Anil Dharker - The Times of India

" A frightening examination of the continuing confrontation between nuclear neighbours India and Pakistan. Narrated in quiet yet passionate terms… of immense interest and importance."
David Stratton - Variety

"The explosions and the resultant jingoistic euphoria are a function of the frustration and fevered anger of a failed elite, the film argues, backing its argument with vivid images of nationalistic and religious fervor that verge on the surreal."
Ashfaque Swapan - India-West

"Perhaps the most important film in this year's Berlin Film Festival"

“This film by India’s leading documentary filmmaker is so important that one could justify its requirement as part of the education of all high school students and undergraduates in America… The power of the film derives from its brilliant cinematography and narration, its juxtaposition of points of view and its total honesty. Patwardhan never preaches, he simply shows things the way they are and lets his audience react.”
Blair B. Kling – University of Illinois

“Patwardhan is as unsparing in his criticism of the aggressiveness of the American military and nuclear machine as he is of the nuclear pretensions of India and Pakistan…and in his understanding of the sexual politics of resurgent Hindu communalism, Patwardhan remains India’s most astute and daring documentary filmmaker and one of the country’s most sensitive commentators.”
Vinay Lal – Manas

“The atom bomb has come to India with another American tradition - the curbing of works that seek to expose its dangers. ''War and Peace'' has won praise and prizes at film festivals around the world, including Bombay's, but it is effectively banned in its home country. The censor board continues to demand cuts on a variety of trumped-up charges.”
A.S. Hamrah – The Boston Globe

“Patwardhan has been making documentaries that challenge India's establishment for 30 years, becoming one of the country's most respected documentarians. For almost as long, he has been battling the state in one form or another for the right to show his films uncensored.”
Amy Waldman – The New York Times

Camera, Editing - Anand Patwardhan
Sound - Simantini Dhuru, Monica Wahi, Vipin Bhati
Production, Editing Assistance - Monica Wahi, Sanjiv Shah

2002, Colour, 130 mins

Patwardhan Website

WED, JUNE 8th, 7PM
Locus Arts @
Galeria de la Raza

2857 24th St. @ Bryant
San Francisco

Suggested Donation:
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Cosponsored by
Locus Arts,
California Peace Action,
Peace Education Fund,


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