The mission of the New York Peace Film Festival (NYPFF) is to present films from around the world that advance global peace.
NYPFF defines ‘global peace’ very broadly. It emphasizes the advantages of peaceful solutions to international conflicts, and shows the horrors and costs of war. But it also screens films that deal constructively and hopefully with the root causes of war: the better management of the resources of the earth and the sharing of those natural resources, the peaceful resolution of local and regional conflicts, and the humility and understanding needed when interacting with a different cultural tradition. Also of deep interest is the proliferation and consequences of nuclear arms and energy.
This year’s films include:
Above Us, the Sky: A film portrait of peace activist Brian Quail, a retired teacher in Glasgow who has been campaigning against nuclear weapons for decades and engages in non-violent direct actions. The film includes conversations that consider the meaning of his actions and what constitutes peace. Extracts from these conversations are combined with images of Brian’s actions and of his home – his intimate space which reveals his values, ideals and identity. U.S. Premiere.
Threshold: Whispers of Fukushima: Unlike the United States, where the population has always moved with frequency, people in other countries, including Japan, feel very tied to the place of their birth; where their ancestors called ‘home.’ So it is with great difficulty that people have left their homes in the Fukushima area after the nuclear disaster of 2011. But many stayed or have returned, and this is a film celebrating the joys of their lives and what gives them the strength to remain.
I Am Still Alive: After being shot by Israeli soldiers while observing a peaceful protest by the wall, a Palestinian teen finds meaning and peace by training in acrobatics as a performer in a traveling circus.
America 1979: A 9 year old Iranian American and her family deal with prejudice and hatred in the immediate aftermath of the Iran hostage crisis of 1979
Out of the Shadows: Kat Chu is just one of thousands of children brought to the U.S. without papers by a parent or, in her case, grandparent. But her struggles, fears, shame and hopes are widely shared by that community. This short film chronicles her coming of age and to terms with her situation, spurred on by advocacy of the DREAM Act.
Inheritance: A son returns to the farm to help his parents keep the farm profitable only to have the Fukushima disaster completely up-end their progress. Despondent, the father commits suicide. The film is the son’s reflection on the entire situation.
Paths of Glory: During World War 1, a French commanding officer order his subordinate to attack a German trench position, offering a promotion as an incentive. Though the mission is foolhardy to the point of suicide the subordinate orders his own subordinate, Colonel Dax, played by Kirk Douglas, to plan the attack. When it ends in disaster the commander demands the court-martial and execution of three random soldiers in order to save face.
Pictures from Hiroshima Schoolyard: A collection of surprisingly joyful drawings created by school children living among the ruins of Hiroshima in 1947 becomes the heart of this inspiring story about an exchange of gifts between American and Japanese after a devastating war. This film about the power of gift introduces us to the children artists, now in their late 70s, who reflect on their early lives amidst the rubble of their destoryed city and the hope they shared through the art.
Beyond the Divide: In Missoula, Montana, a mysterious graffiti peace symbol inflamed an enduring animosity, dividing a community for decades. Through the courageous acts of a Vietnam veteran and a peace advocate, this film illuminates a path to healing old wounds and demonstrates authentic peace building. The story inspires audiences to take courageous first steps to reach beyond polarization in search of what unites us instead of what divides us.
dRaw not War: Teenagers from both sides of three conflict zones are brought together to draw what peace looks like.