December 2001 Events
 
December 12, 2001

Jang Aur Aman

Documentary by Anand Patwardhan

Private Rough Cut Screening for Industry Programmers

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

   
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