WAR & PEACE / JANG AUR AMAN
A New Documentary Film by Anand Patwardhan
Work in Progress
Filmed over three tumultuous
years in India, Pakistan, Japan and the USA following nuclear
tests in the Indian sub-continent - WAR & PEACE / JANG
AUR AMAN is an epic documentary journey of peace activism
in the face of global militarism and war.
Divided into six compelling
chapters, 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 naked and unabashed militarism is explored
with sorrow, although along the way the film captures joyful
stories of courage and resistance. 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 Pakistani counterparts in the peace movement, but
by ordinary citizens who declare without caution that "hate
is the creation of politicians."
WAR & PEACE / JANG AUR
AMAN examines not merely the militarization of India
but looks at the costs being extracted from its citizens.
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." In nations where "Science"
has been hijacked by the war machine, only a handful of
practitioners remind us of its potential to fulfill the
genuine needs of the people.
Going beyond the story
of South Asia, WAR & PEACE / JANG AUR AMAN shares
an extraordinary visit by Japanese survivors of the Atom
Bomb to India and Pakistan following the nuclear tests.
This becomes the impetus for a re-examination of events
that led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Were
the bombs "necessary" ? American historians who gathered
the facts five decades later for a Smithsonian Museum exhibit
in Washington DC were amazed to find their voices suppressed
by a nation that did not want to know.
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 Third World elites. As we
enter the 21st century, war has become perennial, enemies
are re-invented, economies are inextricably tied to the
production and sale of weapons and 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.
Early Press reviews:
"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 in
the Guardian, UK