WAR & PEACE /
JANG AUR AMAN
A Film by
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
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
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
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