A Bold Peace
Almost 70 years ago Costa Rica abolished its army and committed itself to fostering a peaceful society. It has been reaping the benefits ever since.
Directed by Matthew Eddy, Michael Dreiling
Director of Photography: Teal Greyhavens
Executive Producer: Al Jubitz
Narrator: Pedro Garcia-Caro
Animation: Micah Bloom
A Soul Force Media production in association with Spiral Pictures
In his famous "Cross of Iron" speech in 1953, President Eisenhower critiqued the military-industrial complex while asking, "Is there no other way the world may live?" In Costa Rica today, we glimpse another way to live.
"Excellent film...Certain to stimulate discussion on policy choices regarding military spending and human security." Dr. JoAnn Aviel, Prof, International Relations, San Francisco State
In 1948, Costa Rica dismantled their military establishment and intentionally cultivated security relationships with other nations through treaties, international laws, and international organizations. Free of the burden of military spending, they used the financial savings to invest in their people, creating strong public institutions including public higher education and universal health care. In short, Costa Ricans created a society committed to peace, solidarity, and international law. They have survived with safety and relative prosperity for nearly 70 years without a standing army.
A BOLD PEACE details the events which shook the country to its foundations, culminating in the 1948 civil war and the decision to abolish the military. Over the decades, the Costa Rican model has survived several serious crises, but the current threats may be the most formidable of all.
Grade Level: 7 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2017
Copyright Date: 2017
DVD ISBN: 1-941545-80-7
"One of the most enlightening films of our times."
Leon Stuparich, Huffington Post
"A fascinating documentary...Tells the remarkable story of war avoided, or transcended, again and again and again...By the film's end, this way emerges not simply as possible, not simply as a curiosity, but as the model for the future."
Robert Koehler, Huffington Post
"This is a story that every American with a political pulse should know."
Veterans for Peace, Spokane, Washington
"A Bold Peace should be given every possible means of support."
David Swanson, Author of War Is a Lie
"A Bold Peace captures the spirit of my father and the soul of my country."
Christiana Figueres, former UN Climate Chief
"Should be required viewing for any Peace Studies program...It will provide for stimulating discussion. Not only is A Bold Peace an excellent case study of how Costa Rica abolished its military, but it also makes important connections to militarism today and decisions made in the U.S. and other parts of the world that have such an impact on others' lives."
Dr. Patrick Van Inwegen, Associate Professor of Political Science, Whitworth University, Author, Understanding Revolution
"In the tension between security and freedom, A Bold Peace raises critical questions about militarism in national and international affairs. This story of Costa Rica - told in the context of a conflicted American hemisphere - offers a vision of hope. It advocates for national security founded in a thriving civil society that rejects militarism to address inequality and promote the common good."
Mike Klein, Assistant Professor of Justice and Peace Studies, University of St. Thomas
"This is a story that dares us to think differently and to imagine a better way. A Bold Peace seeks to re-frame possibilities for the future by challenging the western paternalistic notion of peace through strength. This insightful film is a must for those in peace and development studies who are interested in giving voice to alternative narratives."
Dr. Greg Carroll, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Salem State University
"A Bold Peace clearly illuminates the linkages between anti-militarism, on the one hand, and social justice, mutual solidarity and democracy on the other. The film will prompt informed discussion about alternatives to both traditional conceptions of national security and neoliberal approaches to economic management. The film suggests that real power arises neither from geographic size nor the barrel of a gun, but from creative thinking about peace-making and conflict resolution."
David Skidmore, Professor of Political Science, Director of Ctr for Global Citizenship, Director of Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs, Drake University
"Excellent film...Certain to stimulate discussion on policy choices regarding military spending and human security. It would be relevant to a wide range of classes in Latin American Studies, Comparative Foreign Policy, U.S. Foreign Policy, International Law, Peace Studies, Security Studies, and Policy Analysis. It would also be interesting to adult education and church and civic discussion groups especially in view of current policy debates in the United States."
Dr. JoAnn Aviel, Professor of International Relations, San Francisco State University
|Reduced rates for activist and grassroots groups. Please inquire.
* Original 89-minute version of the film
* 57-minute classroom version
* SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
* Scene selection
* 8 short clips about various aspects of Costa Rican life
The film's website
Awards and Festivals
Best Social Benefit Documentary, Eugene International Film Festival
Grand Prize, I Will Tell International Film Festival, London
Best Exposé Feature Documentary, Peace on Earth Film Festival, Chicago
Best Documentary, Pembroke Taparelli Arts & Film Festival, Hollywood
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Workers Unite Film Festival
New Haven International Film Festival
Ethnografilm Festival, Paris
DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival
Global Peace Film Festival
Utopia Film Festival
CineAid Film Festival
Central America/The Caribbean
Latin American Studies
War and Peace
|Disturbing the Peace|
A film about people born into conflict, sworn to be enemies, Palestinians and Israelis, who challenged their fate and joined together to say "enough."
The story of activists who opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including their lives, the tactics they used, and the historical context.
The Strangest Dream
The inspiring story of Joseph Rotblat and the efforts of the Pugwash Conferences to halt nuclear proliferation.
Soldiers of Conscience
To kill or not to kill? For some the war is within.
The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It
The story of conscientious objectors in World War II.
The War on Democracy
John Pilger reports that, in spite of a history of repeated US-backed suppression, popular democratic movements are gaining ground in Latin America.